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New data and analytics firm harnesses STB data from multiple MVPDs to boost media buying

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A new data and analytics company in the U.S. could provide a vision of what advertising will look like in future, using census-level STB audience reporting from multiple Pay TV operators as the basis for improved media planning, buying and ROI measurement. The company says it wants to reduce the media industry’s reliance on approximation and intuition. The company, 605, is not involved in media sales itself, an important factor when establishing trust among its customers and partners, according to CEO and founder, Kristin Dolan. This is an innovative model for national, independent census-level audience analysis based on a large data footprint.

605 will provide its data-driven insights to programmers and platform operators, too. Programmers benefit from insights about tune-in and where audiences come from and then go to after a show airs, as two examples of what can be revealed. Platform operators can use data to determine who their most valuable customers are, among other things.

The new company, which was doing some ‘soft marketing’ in Europe during Future TV Advertising Forum in December, brings together two notable bodies of knowledge: the data, technology, media analytics, brand marketing and consumer behaviour expertise of AMG, which is now part of 605, and the STB reporting, data management and platform operations knowledge from some of the team that made the New York cable operator Cablevision (now Altice USA) a world leader in census-level measurement and insights. Kristin Dolan was previously Chief Operating Officer at Cablevision and Ben Tatta, co-founder and President of 605, was President of Cablevision Media Sales.

AMG (Analytics Media Group) was established by members of the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaigns for the White House, which were considered transformative because of their use of big data analytics and software to find and target swing voters. AMG has been helping some major world brands to find their target audience, optimize their campaigns and measure their marketing ROI more accurately. AMG has been acquired by Dolan Family Ventures, which makes strategic investments in advanced data, analytics and tech businesses and owns 605.

Walmart was an AMG customer and Aaron Bernstein, Senior Director, Insights & Advocacy at Walmart, said of the new company: “AMG is an outstanding partner, whose pioneering use of data and powerful insights have been of real value to us. We are excited about the formation of 605, which has the potential to make AMG’s solutions even stronger.”

605 lists a number of companies as advanced advertising and data partners including Charter Communications, AT&T AdWorks, Comcast Spotlight and DISH Media Sales. MODI Media and Experian are among the others.  The company says its set-top box data is unique in terms of its footprint and the rights it has been granted. With all the necessary privacy protections, 605 is allowed to use this census-level audience measurement as the building block for actionable insights.

As Kristin Dolan points out, census-level measurement using set-top boxes is still new to most of the television industry and 605 can consult on how a platform operator can establish the data infrastructure needed. Given the variety of set-top boxes in the field and headend configurations, and the data warehousing and cloud storage options, this is no easy task. This is not the core of the 605 business, she stresses. The real value-add is the data analysis.

There is a long list of what 605 can do for media buyers and owners. For media planners and buyers the company can identify target groups and segment audiences, including for household-level addressable TV advertising. It can work out how much budget should be devoted to classic broadcast and how much to addressable. The data analysis helps with development and testing of creative. The company provides impression-based reporting and verification, and ROI (return on investment) experiments and analytics, among other things.

605 provides second-by-second programming analytics, tune-in conversion analysis and optimisation, path analysis (where audiences come from and where they go to) and cross-platform behavioural analytics. Audience segmentation, ad planning, sales and reporting tools are some of the other capabilities. For platform operators there is a long list of technical solutions from data onboarding, normalisation and hosting to data systems architecture and testing, to network-based data analytics.

Dolan thinks the market needs this census-level, data-driven approach to sell-side and buy-side media optimisation. “Our experience in the industry tells us there are major gaps in audience measurement and television analytics in the current marketing and programming landscape,” she confirms.

Kristin Dolan will be in Toronto for Future TV Advertising Forum Canada. More details about that event here.

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