TiVo has announced Stop/Watch Local, a plan to offer networks and advertisers second-by-second information about the programs and commercials being watched by users of its DVR service.
These granular graphs, showing every audience peak and valley, present "a tremendous new piece of insight," TiVo audience research and measurement general manager Todd Juenger tells USA Today.
The data will be collected anonymously from samples significantly larger than Nielsen's — the largest markets will use 25,000 homes, versus Nielsen's 900.
But even Juenger admits that TiVo's data is somewhat limited by its customers, who tend to be richer, better educated "and, unfortunately, a little more white" than the population at large. "[But] it isn't a gigantic difference," he added.
As a Nielsen rep tells USA Today, "Our ratings are based on samples that reflect the viewing behavior of all households, not just those who have DVRs."
Also, TiVo is unable to break down the demographics or number of people watching at a given time.
TiVo's Stop/Watch Local service will supplement the company's measurement of national audience with data from a large swath of the country's 210 local markets, and on a year-round basis. Nielsen only tabulates local numbers four times a year.