updated 02:35 pm EDT, Tue July 17, 2012
Service matches television viewing with shopping habits
TiVo will reportedly announce that it has acquired research company TRA. This according to The New York Times, which puts the price of the acquisition at $20 million. The deal will likely give TiVo access to much more granular information on the shopping patterns of its customers, which would enable the company to target television ads on an individual basis.
TRA compares information from 1.5 million set-top cable boxes against anonymized information taken from shopper loyalty cards, as well as information such as car registrations. By analyzing the data, the company is able to determine down to the individual household which ads are having the most impact, which shows are advertising most efficiently, and which channels best reach target audiences.
TiVo will now look to expand TRA's operations extensively, likely rolling out some version of the tracking service across the millions of devices the company has sold. In combination with the company's recently announced plans to bring interactive ads and TiVo-based purchasing to its devices, the TRA acquisition will enable the company to not only target individuals, but to sell directly to those individuals without them needing to go to a retail outlet.