GroupM Signs on for TRA Service

GroupM has become the second major agency to sign a deal with TRA, a research service that links TV ratings to product-purchase behavior.

A hybrid TV ratings service, TRA’s second-by-second estimates are based on data from 1.5 million set-top-box households and product-purchase data from 54 million households participating in shopper loyalty programs to create a panel of 370,000 households. 

The research service is one of the few alternatives to traditional TV ratings to break into the buy-sell process when MediaVest began experimenting with buys based on TRA during last year’s upfront.

“TRA’s Media TRAnalytics allows us to gain further insights into the utility of the set-top box and its capabilities as well as providing us the ability to monitor overall impact on our clients’ sales,” said Lyle Schwartz, director of implementation research and marketplace analysis for GroupM.

Though TRA has managed to sign two major agencies plus CBS, the upstart research firm may be facing some steep competition from Nielsen, which in December formed a joint venture with Catalina Marketing to combine Catalina’s 50 million shopper database with Nielsen’s national TV and online panels. The service is expected to launch in the first half of this year in time for this year’s upfront TV selling season.