Canoe Ventures is currently in discussions with third-party data providers about the best way to provide metrics from millions of digital cable set-tops, and has a road map targeting delivery of “supplemental” TV viewing data to the industry as early as next year, according to a presentation by two of the company's senior executives.
“We are working first and foremost on gathering data from our six MSOs,” said Mark Mitchell, Canoe's senior vice president of network relations. “There is no easy infrastructure in place to do that.”
Mitchell, along with Canoe senior vice president of agency relations Bruce Dennler, spoke last week at the quarterly Collaborative Alliance event hosted by media agency MPG.
Canoe was officially formed last summer by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks.
The New York-based startup is currently testing its first product — called Community Addressable Messaging, which will deliver different advertising spots to viewers based on the income level of their geographic area — and expects to launch the service this summer. Rainbow Media's AMC is one of the first networks testing the CAM product.
Canoe next plans to launch an interactive “request for information” service in the fourth quarter, which would allow cable TV viewers to request a brochure in the mail or an e-mail from an advertiser.
Canoe will provide set-top box data with its own addressable and interactive advertising products, Mitchell said. In addition to that, he said, “there's also the opportunity to supplement the data that's already in the market.”
“There's a lot of debate how best to do that,” he said. “We're in discussions with third-party companies on how best to do that.”
Canoe CEO David Verklin has said the venture expects to provide viewing metrics for 32 million U.S. cable households, representing about 57 million set-tops.
Comcast, for its part, is reportedly working on a database project dubbed “TV Warehouse” that would allow the MSO to store a full year of statistics gathered from digital set-tops in more than 16 million households nationwide.
For 2009, Canoe's focus with regard to set-top data will be collecting and harmonizing the information, as well as supporting the RFI application. Next year, according to Mitchell, Canoe may provide supplemental audience-measurement data to the industry. In 2011 and beyond the venture has its eyes on “data integration as foundational for segmentation, targeting and performance metrics.”