Better Television Audience Measurement through the Research Integration of Set-Top Box Data

Phase Two

Bill Harvey
OpenTV Research, United States


In June 2002, the author, with co-authors of the previous paper in this series Tony Jarvis, Senior Vice President and Research Director, Grey/Mediacom and Executive Vice President, New Technologies Russ Booth, Grey/Mediacom, presented data to the 2002 session of WAM in support of using set-top box data to help improve television audience measurement, principally in terms of sample sizes for U.S. local market measurements.

That data had been collected from the first experiment in the world to attempt to turn set-top box data into useful media research across all channels. The data had been collected from about 500 homes in Atlanta in July–August 1997 by Next Century Media in conjunction with BellSouth, on behalf of ten top advertisers and their agencies. (Next Century Media is, incidentally, the research company the writer founded and ran prior to joining OpenTV to form OpenTV Research.)