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FourthWall Nips at Nielsen

Company expands TV viewer index, adding to the growing volume of set-top data now available to marketeers

Mari Silbey

May 21, 2013

1 Min Read
FourthWall Nips at Nielsen

The Nielsen Company still dominates U.S. TV ratings, but a new force is emerging in viewer tracking -- set-top data. FourthWall Media Inc. announced Tuesday an expansion of its MassiveData TV viewer index. The database now covers 1.8 million cable set-tops and reaches 4.7 million cable viewers. Even though it only launched the index in mid-2012, the company claims MassiveData is already the "largest independent source of cable viewing data." FourthWall is using set-top data to match advertisers with relevant viewing audiences. It promotes the initial success of that approach by pointing (somewhat obliquely) to political media buys that performed well in the 2012 election year. But FourthWall isn't the only company getting in on the TV data action. TiVo Inc.'s Research and Analytics unit (TRA), which tracks set-top data from 48,000 TiVo households, recently announced that it is combining that information with "psychographic" data revealing viewer attitudes and purchasing intent. (See TiVo Goes 'Psychographic'.) Verizon has also expressed an interest in sourcing data from subscriber set-tops to set new content licensing fees. (See Virgin Plugs Concurrent Into Its Video CDN.) Historically, service providers have been squeamish about monitoring and analyzing set-top data. But that attitude is now shifting because of the growing influence of Web-based marketing and advertising practices. What used to look like an invasion of privacy is increasingly becoming just a part of doing business in the digital age. — Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

About the Author(s)

Mari Silbey

Senior Editor, Cable/Video

Mari Silbey is a senior editor covering broadband infrastructure, video delivery, smart cities and all things cable. Previously, she worked independently for nearly a decade, contributing to trade publications, authoring custom research reports and consulting for a variety of corporate and association clients. Among her storied (and sometimes dubious) achievements, Mari launched the corporate blog for Motorola's Home division way back in 2007, ran a content development program for Limelight Networks and did her best to entertain the video nerd masses as a long-time columnist for the media blog Zatz Not Funny. She is based in Washington, D.C.

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