July 23, 2012, 11:09 AM

TiVo boosts its ‘t-commerce’ marketing capabilities

The digital video technology provider buys an analytics company.

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TiVo Inc., whose digital video technology enables consumers to record, store and watch television programs, says it will spend $20 million to buy TRA Inc., whose technology helps marketers and TV networks better target viewers.

The deal, one of the latest in the so-called area of “t-commerce,”—that is, television commerce—will enable TiVo to establish a unit called TiVo Research and Analytics that would better match TV advertising with consumers. The acquisition follows a deal announced last month under which TiVo will work with eBay Inc.’s PayPal to make it easier for consumers to buy from TV commercials.

“TV has long been the best medium for advertisers to influence what consumers buy,” says Tom Rogers, CEO and president of TiVo. “TRA has proven its platform can determine the effectiveness of TV advertising by connecting the exposure of ads to actual purchases, helping advertisers identify the right audience and get the most out of their ad dollars. With this new level of unique audience insights and analytics, TiVo will be able to provide insights nobody else has in an industry increasingly seeking alternative ways to measure audience behavior accurately while increasing efficiencies in media spending."

TRA gains its insights via data by measuring consumer behavior from more than 2 million U.S. households. Via set-top boxes and measuring shopping behavior through use of loyalty cards and other methods, TRA says it can tell advertisers and brands how effective their advertising is. TiVo says the company serves 45 brand clients, and 27 television networks; clients include Procter & Gamble, CBS and A&E.

TiVo says the deal should close this month. TiVo claims nearly 2.5 million subscribers.

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