Discovery to use TRA's single-source database

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Discovery Communications, the parent company of Discovery Channel and TLC, has signed on as a client of TRA's Media TRAnalytics 370,000-household, single-source database.

The database, introduced in February, matches second-by-second information from home set-top boxes to actual product purchases at the household level.

“What TRA has is really interesting for us and our clients and also unique at this point,” said Beth Rockwood, SVP, market resources for Discovery Communications. “It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only real, true single-source offering that's available right now. We're always looking for ways to differentiate ourselves from other advertising options, and we have a lot of confidence that our audience is different, better.

“We think single source is one more way that we can look at that and demonstrate it to our clients,” she added. “The more color we can get around our viewers, the easier it is to program to them and to get advertisers who are the right advertisers who are interested in working with us.”

Rockwood noted that, while surveys from MRI and Simmons are also single-source, their data comes from consumers' survey replies, and not the actual set-top boxes or actual purchases — which could result in inaccuracies.

Research company TRA overlaid television viewership data on cable and TiVo from 1.5 million households, consumer packaged goods purchase data from more than 55 million households and demographic data from more than 100 million households to build the new database. All information is “de-identified” to comply with privacy regulations.

A partnership with TiVo, announced in June, allows TRA to collect anonymous viewing data from TiVo users, and the company also is gathering anonymous viewer data on 300,000 homes from several cable operators. TRA executives expect to have 2 million homes in the database by year-end.

Discovery Communications will continue to use all accepted industry data sources as it enters an experimental phase with Media TRAnalytics.

“It's an important direction for the industry in terms of accountability,” Rockwood concluded. “And it allows us to compare to other data services look at longitudinal information to see if product purchase behaviors change over time.”

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