CIMM Still Facing Challenges From MSOsUpstart measurement outfit’s Clarke updates progress 4/19/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern
The Coalition for Innovative
(CIMM) is pushing ahead
with set-top-box and cross-platform
but is still having little luck getting
cable operators to jump on
board. But Jane Clarke, who
took over as managing director
in September, says that despite a
lack of public announcements of
late, there is plenty of progress.
She updated B&C Business Editor
Claire Atkinson on the latest.
An edited version of that conversation
progress on your goals?
It’s been a while since our last
announcement, but there’s
been a lot going on behind the
scenes. Our [new] membership
is really blazing; we’ve got PepsiCo,
Gannett, Microsoft, Belo,
ConAgra and Hearst, and we
have a couple of others in the
process. Our initiatives on the
set-top-box and cross-platform
fronts have moved ahead.
What happened since your
meeting with the industry?
The first step was to have an RFI
[request for information] on the
site, and we brought in several
companies to answer questions.
They were Nielsen, TiVo, TRA,
Rentrak and Kantar Media.
What we did after we met with
the set-top-box vendors in November
is to get everything out
on the table so you can see the
issues. We could see that no one
is talking the same language, so
we’ve been developing a lexicon
So, what is happening now that
you’ve seen the set-top-box companies
and completed the RFI process?
Once we release the lexicon in
[mid-May], we [will start] talking
about potential pilot projects.
What we’d like to do is, hopefully,
get some more set-top-box
data into the market and be able
to look at key metrics from the
lexicon using a wider array of
Who’s actually making set-top-box
It is only being released by
Charter Communications and
some smaller MSOs.
Given that the set-top-box data
is so important, why aren’t more
MSOs involved? What is the delay in
their sharing of such data with the
They have a number of technical and business issues they’re sorting out, a lot of different configurations
but they’re doing a lot very rapidly. In answer to why they’re
not members, CIMM was established with TV-based companies
and media agencies and large advertisers; it isn’t that appropriate
for research vendors or data owners to join, but clearly we want to
work with them.
What role is Canoe playing in facilitating that
Canoe Ventures has a lot of work to do,
and they’re doing it quietly and it’s getting
done. They’ll be ready to announce it when
they’re finished. I think they’re very committed,
and they just need to do some hard
work to get it ready.
Tell us about the cross-platform part of what
We brought in IMMI, Nielsen, Arbitron,
Media Behavior Institute, Sequent Partners,
ComScore, TiVo/Quantcast, Knowledge
Networks and Rentrak.
So, what’s next in cross-platform measurement
now that you’ve met those groups?
We reached out to the World Federation of
Advertising and ESOMAR [World Association
of Opinion and Marketing Research
Professionals]; they’ve done some surveys
to see which countries are making the most
progress on holistic measurement. The best
example was from the U.K. called TouchPoints, developed by the
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.
Tell us more about the lexicon of terms you’ve been building. There were definitions
such as “latency” and “dwell time” that needed standardizing.
We’ve worked with more than 30 companies and industry groups,
and everybody wanted to add in terms they’re developing.
What did you like about it?
The system enables us to use all existing currencies for TV, print
and online, and then be able to tie in to a common integrated planning
database that links all the currencies and makes it simple. It
enables you to look at a TV rating and print impression on the same
person, or they can create a database that makes it look like they’re
the same. We’ve hired an independent consultant to talk to users
of the [TouchPoints] service, and most of the agencies and media
companies are being surveyed as to how it’s working for them and
whether it would work here.
Tell us about mobile, the “third screen” that is
part of your cross-platform initiative and growing
incredibly fast. What is happening there?
On mobile, it’s “move as fast as you can.”
It’s very important for CIMM.
What is happening on the local measurement
Some of our members were local companies;
they are particularly interested in the
set-top-box data and cross-platform measurement.
They are still very in line with
the rest of the members, but they want more
granularity and the bigger sample sizes you
get with [set-top-box measurement].
Are you investing in any projects or companies?
I don’t know that we’ll invest in anything;
more co-funding and accelerated development
with some research companies that
can’t launch without funding from an industry
Tell us more about your role. What is the day-today
of your job? How often are you meeting?
We’re very efficient; we’re renting space on 23rd Street [in New
York]. We have meetings at the member companies and we generally
have a big meeting once a month, and we have working committees
for each of the initiatives.
What has surprised you most about everything you’ve found out from the
group so far?
I’ve been pleasantly surprised that the members have been very cohesive
in terms of what improvements they want to see. We have a
lot of healthy discussions, but they all share common goals.