Cable, satellite and telco multichannel video distributors have formed a broad coalition to create guidelines putting television viewing data from set-top boxes into a consistent, accurate and usable form.
The group, working with NCC Media, which sells local commercials for the operators, will be working with the Media Ratings Council to develop industry guidelines so that the data will be the same from operator to operator, making it more useful and valuable.
Operators believe the data is valuable and want to make sure they're being compensated for it. They are also legally required to keep customer data private and must make sure appropriate safeguards are in place before any data is released.
NCC COO Ken Little acknowledged that there are many different efforts out now trying to find ways to use set-top data, including Canoe Ventures. He said there were 14 operators, including many industry leaders, in the coalition, but the names were not being released at this point.
Other parties, including research companies such as the Nielsen Co., media owners and media buyers will be invited to participate in the guideline setting process, the group said.
Also announcing an attempt at a new way of looking at audience research Tuesday was the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, which said it would be bringing a single-source cross-media measurement initiative used in the United Kingdom known as "TouchPoints" to the U.S.
The study will run from September 2010 to February 2011.