Openet has expanded its set-top box data collection and analysis solution for cable operators, which it claims can let MSOs provide better information about their own subscribers' viewing habits than third-party research firms like Nielsen can.
Openet has established a professional-services team -- the Business Intelligence and Analytics Practice -- that will develop custom solutions for service providers in conjunction with partners including data-warehouse vendor Netezza and business-analytics software from IBM Cognos and SAP BusinessObjects.
"We can help operators do a better job of selling their own inventory," Openet chief marketing officer Mike Manzo said. He estimates that cable companies could achieve a 10% lift in local advertising revenue by having better data at their fingertips.
Nielsen covers only part of the cable universe, Manzo pointed out. Only 100 of 400 channels are measured by Nielsen's national TV panel, which represents just 30% of primetime viewership. "If you can't prove viewership you will sell it under value," Manzo said. "We can provide a comprehensive viewership measurement system that uses real data."
Openet has not disclosed which cable operators use its Audience and Engagement Measurement solution. Time Warner Cable has already started deployed the Openet solution for its local ad-sales teams, according to the March issue of Screenplays magazine.
The Audience and Engagement Measurement solution is built on Openet's Subscriber Data Management (SDM) solution architecture, announced earlier this week. The audience measurement solution spans all video services, including linear and nonlinear viewing data and click-streams associated with interactive TV apps.
One of Openet's big differentiators, according to Manzo, is that it provides a data model that is able to aggregate and normalize data from multiple headends. For example, it has specialized algorithms that can figure out when nobody's watching TV. "We don't think anyone offers a comprehensive, end-to-end system for viewership measurement and analysis like this," he said.
While Openet doesn't currently operate a data-clearinghouse business -- which would compile set-top metrics from multiple operators -- "I'd be lying if I said we were not considering it," Manzo said.
However, he added, Openet's position is that service providers should not relinquish subscriber data. "We believe the right business model is for a broker to be an enabler of federated reports," Manzo said, adding, "I think that's what Canoe's vision is."
Canoe Ventures is the advanced-advertising company formed by the six biggest U.S. cable operators.