TiVo unveils new research offerings

Company says it can track new tune-in data; posts Q2 loss

TiVo unveiled research offerings Wednesday that include the ability to measure what percentage of its DVR users exposed to a TV program promo ultimately tune in to watch it.

The new product comes as TiVo said it continues to lose money and shed subscribers.

During its fiscal second quarter, the DVR pioneer lost $15.3 million, compared with a loss of $2.7 million in the year-ago quarter. Revenue fell 10% to $51.6 million. Its subscriber base has sunk to 2.4 million from 3.1 million a year ago.

Dwindling subscribers makes TiVo's research and measurement business all the more important. Its newest product along those lines launches next month and is part of a new version of the company's anonymous StopWatch commercial ratings service.

TiVo said the new services will help improve marketers' and TV networks' "ability to more clearly understand how viewers watch TV, going beyond what other research companies are able to offer."

Among the other new TiVo research offers is the ability to measure the viewing activity of one specified target group and compare it with another. For example, "one target may time-shift far more heavily than another, while another target may view commercials more during the 'Today' show and on the Food Network," TiVo said.

TiVo also will start measuring the return advertisers are getting from additional spots or from ads viewed time-shifted.

For example, the first week of a campaign might reach 25%, and each additional week might gain 5%, but by Week 4, the incremental added reach is zero, suggesting they should stop running the campaign or change it. As another example, TiVo cited a recent campaign run by a major insurance advertiser that saw a 10% gain in unduplicated reach for spots viewed time-shifted.

Georg Szalai reported from New York; Paul Bond reported from Los Angeles.