Behind The Numbers: Evolving TV Measurement with Representative ACR Data

The $90 billion TV advertising industry relies on accurate data to reach audiences and assess the effectiveness of ad dollars.

But not all data is created equal, nor is it representative. For TV measurement to evolve, it requires currency-grade data that is consistent, stable and has the scale to cover all audiences. The data must be more than aggregated numbers collected across sources and devices. It needs to be granular and accurately represent the total TV viewing population. 

With more than 21 million opted-in VIZIO smart TV devices nationwide sharing data through Inscape’s Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, we have TV viewership data from tens of millions of TV households, surpassing other viewership panels in terms of volume. 

But because this data relies on smart TV ownership, it can have its own biases resulting from consumer behavior and preferences. The popular assumption is that smart TVs are more expensive, and therefore skew toward more affluent households. However, VIZIO’s wide range of TV offerings attracts consumers from all demographics, creating innate alignment with the U.S census for the Inscape TV panel.

While this is a major advantage, factors such as brand perception, market dynamics, activation and opt-in consent still vary by market, creating the need for some level of calibration in order to produce a completely representative dataset that can support measurement. 

With that in mind, Inscape developed the National Representative Panel (NRP) — a proprietary TV weighting solution designed to address potential biases. It calibrates a significant subset of smart TVs within the Inscape TV panel and balances to the U.S. Census, removing variances across audience segments such as age, gender, income, location, cable and satellite subscription, antenna usage and ethnicity. 

Once applied, the NRP calibrations nearly eliminated any over- or under-representation found across audience segments. In fact, the NRP on average is largely equal to the U.S. Census across key demographic segments. 

ACR data that Inscape provides is pushing currency-grade data forward for our TV measurement and currency partners. Evolving data for TV measurement is essential for the health of the entire ecosystem, which is why Inscape continues to invest in innovative solutions like the NRP. 

We recently compiled a white paper outlining how the NRP solution addresses even minor variances in demographic data within our TV panel. To receive a copy of the white paper and get access to the full methodology, results, and examples of its use in practice reach out to Inscape directly