Rentrak Patent Tracks TV Show Effectiveness

Says Tech Provides Cost-Effective Way To Measure Audience Engagement
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Ratings measurement specialist Rentrak said it has secured a new patent that covers TV audience engagement and indicates which TV shows are most effective, providing advertisers with a valuable tool. 

Issued on December, 2, the patent, U.S. No. 8,904,419, describes a “System and method for measuring television audience engagement.” Michael Vinson, Bruce Goerlich, Maria Loper, Melissa Martin, and Amir Yazdani are listed as the patent’s inventors.

According to the company, the patent revolves around a process to prove which TV shows have the most engaged viewers based on a “Stickiness Index,” holding that the more time spent viewing, the more likely a viewer is to remember advertising. Rentrak uses the Stickiness Index in its TV Essentials system, as well as in weekly reports.

Addressing the need for the technology, Rentrak notes in the patent that market adoption of technologies such as the DVR, picture-in-picture, and OTT apps have provided viewers with “increased opportunities to have minimal engagement levels with television advertisements, if not to skip over advertisements entirely.”

The company adds that the industry has historically lacked a cost-effective technology, beyond traditional ratings systems, to measure the engagement of TV audiences during advertisements, and believes its technology crosses that chasm.

“[T]here exists a need for a technology to measure the engagement level of television audiences with high accuracy, statistical validity, and cost effectiveness, in order to provide feedback to advertisers about the effectiveness of television advertisements beyond a simple ratings metric,” the company notes.