Carolyn Schuk /
09.15.2009 03:05 PM
Measuring viewer behavior essential for raising mobile TV's visibility for media buyers

The beauty of mobile TV is, of course, its return channel. Combine that with now-ubiquitous GPS, and you have minute-to-minute insight about viewers that advertisers of the past only dreamed of. So last month's announcement by FLO TV and audience measurement company Rentrak that they were teaming up to provide “comprehensive viewership and advertising impression reporting” wasn't exactly surprising.

It's not as if Rentrak hasn't dipped its [corporate] toe into the mobile waters before. Back in April at NAB, the company demonstrated an audience measurement system for MobiTV. And in June, Rentrak formed a partnership with video delivery company Concurrent to collect and correlate three-screen media data.

"Rentrak and FLO TV are working to set a foundation for this business to grow," says Vicki Mealer, senior director of product management for QUALCOMM MediaFLO Technologies.

"Rentrak does audience measurement from transaction data, [whereas] Nielsen is still polling. Rentrak has defined this category of measurement across multiple screens and is bringing that data together, which adds up to one thing: having you watch more things you like. A more targeted audience [is] invaluable," Mealer says.

The system will use Rentrak's TV Essentials reporting system, "currently under active development," according to the company Web site. The system integrates with Hiwire's mobile usage monitoring platform. (Hiwire is the mobile TV broadcasting subsidiary of Aloha Partners, one of the largest owners of 700MHz spectrum in the United States.)

"That kind of service is needed in the market," says Jeffrey R. Miller, principal at JRMill3r.com and former president of market development at Telescope, a pioneer in interactive TV voting applications. "That kind of information and service is absolutely required. Media buyers aren't going to let someone in the door without that."

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