The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted the “method and system” used by Rentrak for its OTT audience measurement the protection of a patent. The company is looking to increase the number of homes it uses to generate ratings.
Set-top boxes, or “return path TVs,” can measure television use without requiring viewer intervention, as with a diary or phone survey.
Rentrak says its well on the way to having 60M OTTs in its live and DVR sample, and 114M in its VOD sample.
By way of explanation, Rentrak stated, “U.S. Patent 8,863,166 is for a system to identify when TV sets are off, but the set-top-box is on. Because it often happens that a set-top box is left on when the television is turned off, this process is crucial to the measurement of viewing based on return-path TVs. Rentrak’s approach includes more than 10,000 statistical models to identify specific viewing situations.”
“This is great news for Rentrak and the video industry,” said Rentrak’s Vice Chairman and CEO Bill Livek. “This patent recognizes the fact that only Rentrak has the intellectual property and years of experience to precisely measure TV viewing everywhere. This technology is an integral part of providing massive and passive television measurement for our clients.”