How TiVo ‘Maps’ Viewers Across Platforms

The idea behind TiVo’s just-announced partnership with 4INFO
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Marketers don’t merely wish to target viewers as they watch TV. They want to follow around certain audience segments as they get up, move around and consume media on other devices.

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This is the idea behind TiVo’s just-announced partnership with fellow Silicon Valley company 4INFO, which bills itself as a “cross-screen media mapping company.”

Under the collaboration, TiVo will use 4INFO’s media mapping solution in its Targeted Audience Delivery platform.

As explained by 4INFO CEO Tim Jenkins, his company’s software uses mobile ad IDs and IP addresses to build a “map” of a targeted consumer. This will allow TiVo to provide, say, its cat food advertiser clients with a ready-made segment of audience members with hungry cats. The advertiser will get data not just on the target audience’s consumption habits at home, but what they do on mobile devices while they’re away.

“People are viewing content across screens seamlessly now,” Jenkins said. “They may start watching a basketball game in the den, then pick it up on their mobile phone as they go outside to barbecue.”

Like virtually all technologists working in the businesses of advanced advertising, Jenkins insists that consumers remain anonymous, despite the gobs of data that are being collected on them as they move about their day.

“When you create an anonymous ID for a particular household, all the personal information — the home address, etc. — gets discarded,” he said. “If anyone came in and took a look, all they’d see is ‘ID 123.’ They’d have no way to trace it back to 321 Main St. And after we’re done with this data, it all gets thrown away.”

By working with 4INFO, TiVo also greatly expands its addressable advertising footprint, Jenkins said.

“TiVo has a certain footprint that is a certain size, but it’s not the entire United States,” he explained. “Our graph covers 90% of the country.”

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