TiVo to buy TRA, track shopping of TV viewers


TiVoTiVo has agreed to acquire TRA, which offers a platform that directly links info from the same households as to what viewers watch with what they buy. TRA matches television exposures from 1.5 million TV homes with specific purchase transactions. The acquisition is expected to create insights that will offer the TV ad industry Internet-level measurement and accountability accelerating TiVo’s position in the billion dollar television analytics business.

TRA acquires data by collecting info from 1.5 million set-top cable boxes and matching the viewers (anonymously) with information gleaned from “loyalty cards” presented at supermarkets, as well as with other measurements, like car-registration info.

The unit will be known as TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA). TiVo will pay approximately $20 million for TRA. TiVo expects the transaction to close this month. TRA’s revenue is on track to increase significantly in 2012. TiVo expects the transaction will be accretive to Adjusted EBITDA in its next fiscal year if planned synergies are realized.

TRA has more than 45 brand clients and 27 network clients including CBS, A&E Television Networks, ION Media, Procter & Gamble, Oscar Mayer and Starcom MediaVest Group, among others.

Said Tom Rogers, TiVo CEO: “TV has long been the best medium for advertisers to influence what consumers buy. TRA has proven its platform can determine the effectiveness of TV advertising by connecting the exposure of ads to actual purchases, helping advertisers identify the right audience and get the most out of their ad dollars. TRA has driven a substantial client list of advertisers, agencies and networks with this proposition. With this new level of unique audience insights and analytics, TiVo will be able to provide insights nobody else has in an industry increasingly seeking alternative ways to measure audience behavior accurately while increasing efficiencies in media spending.”

“As an industry, we need to keep moving forward on targeting and effectiveness. Starcom MediaVest Group has partnered with TRA for over three years to deliver in both these regards and bring our clients the most efficient and effective television investment possible. We look forward to the potential of an even bigger impact through the powerful combination of TiVo and TRA,” said Laura Desmond, Global CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group.

“At CBS, we have used the TRA Media TRAnalytics platform since its inception as the solution to demonstrate increased accountability in television. We are pleased to see these two leading innovators come together to continue their efforts to connect viewing with purchases and prove the ROI of television,” added David Poltrack, CBS Chief Research Officer.