The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau Chairman had requested that NCM look into a means to turn set top boxes into audience meters. In 1997-1998, NCM became the first research company to download software-based audience meters into set top boxes and to validate their results against established audience data based on hardware meters needing physical home installation, thus achieving CAB’s goal. General Motors, Unilever, Philip Morris, Coca-Cola and six other top advertisers and their agencies were participants in that field trial.
NCM is the only research company to offer a complete business plan for the use of set top box based audience measurement in which the cable/satellite operator retains ownership of the data and receives a revenue share. NCM preserves the third party research role which brings those raw data up to media research standards. Many companies have endorsed the NCM plan for amalgamating set top box data and NCM’s qualifications to be the company that fulfils this function. For a sample of such endorsement letters click here.
93% of the households in the field trial provided demographic/product usage data to NCM demonstrating NCM’s capability to roll out the method combining set top box based audience measurement with demographic/product usage measurement affordably to massive samples.
NCM’s software meter measures second by second rather than minute by minute as per the limits of conventional hardware meters in use in the U.S. today. This provides vast, new insights into the actual dynamics of commercial audiences. For a sample of the kinds of data and insights enabled click here.