Tuesday

Rentrak's Rubik. Q&A with Caroline Horner



Caroline Horner was an early pioneer in Set Top Box data through her work digital experience and leadership position at Dish. Now, as SVP Product Innovation at Rentrak, she is helping to create a more versatile data toolbox so the advertising and entertainment industries can discover and unlock new value.

In this fascinating interview, Horner talks about her work at Rentrak gathering the data into one user platform, the impact of connected TV and DVRs on the industry, her work at the agencies, technology trends and the impact on legacy businesses. In addition, she offers her insights into what the media landscape may look like 5 years from now.

There are five videos in the interview:

Title                                                      (Length in Minutes)
Background and Rentrak                        (5:33)
STB Data and DVRs                              (6:30)
Predictions and Legacy                         (8:14)
Standard Metrics                                   (7:14)
Programmatic and connected TV            (5:13)



Charlene Weisler interviews Caroline Horner who talks about her background and her work at Rentrak in this 5:33 minute video:




CW: What are you currently working on at Rentrak?

CH: I am building the data products I have always wanted as a client. When you are working in advertising you are often working with very awkward data and everyone has a question that they need to answer from their clients. I now have the opportunity to gather all the data in one place and build a system that reports all the data that we want to report. What is real reach? What is real frequency?  What is the behavior of the people that is absolutely evidence of their interaction with the content? I get to do that here.

Caroline Horner talks to Charlene Weisler about her views on STB data and DVRs in this 6:30 minute video:





CW: Rentrak announced a new data initiative called Rubik. Can you tell us about it?

CH: Sure. Rubik is a household level data set that we pulled from our massive data set. It’s about a half million homes and we are providing an environment where clients tunnel into our server and they can do the analytics at the household level to analyze what people are doing. One thing that Rentrak has always done is aggregate the data. We heard that our clients wanted more flexibility, they wanted to do custom analytics on the fly and so we made a dataset available. We have over ten network clients using the product right now. We have attached 4000 to 5000 segmentations on it – Boolean segmentation – the ability to cross different segments together. So whether you are a Jeep owner or a cat owner you can target those consumers. The other side of it is the ability to do dynamic targeting – create a user group or a viewer group that perhaps didn’t get exposed to any Jeep ads, how do you re-plan a campaign for them.

CW: What trends are you seeing among consumers in how they are using the new technology?

CH: It is dramatic. When I started we were in the 20-30% DVR penetration. Now you see a lot of time shifting that helps consumers see a lot more content. Even more than that is the On Demand where you don’t have to remember to make a selection to record a show. At the same time there is more DVR capacity where people can store more of what they want to watch over time. So we are seeing a lot of pull away from the live component (although that is still very important). Free on demand has been tremendous. People have been sampling and, when they like what they see, place it on their DVR for future viewing. More studying will be done on DVRs – what people choose to record, how long they keep it and how long before they actually view it. Do they need to keep up or will they binge? You can do homemade bingeing. Digital is also starting to have some impact with viewing on devices. What I see is that live streaming is very similar to live television. But the on demand is almost exactly the same on the set top box as it is in the digital environment. The future could bring curated channels where social meets television. We are not there yet but the future could bring groups together who recommend content to each other. 

Caroline Horner talks to Charlene Weisler about how the media landscape may look over the next 3 to 5 years in this 8:14 minute video:




Charlene Weisler talks to Caroline Horner who talks about standard metrics in this 7:14 minute video:




CW: All TVs being sold today are connected TVs. How will that impact data, measurement and consumer usage?

CH: Data – it’s getting a little scary because there is such fragmentation and there has been an opinion to hold back data. I don’t think that helps networks and I don’t think it helps advertisers. I think it really hurts the industry for folks to hide what is going on. I know the instinct is to protect competitive information but it is hurting the ability of people to understand the value of that inventory. Measurement – I think transparency is important. If you hold on to it, it can’t be transparent and people don’t know how to judge comparative value. The word “fraud” is ugly, but it is hard to have a benchmark that is the same if folks are hiding data. So I think it is important for measurement to be brought together – edited the same way, MRC accredited. We all have to agree on what is currency.  Consumer usage – there will continue to be experimentation and I think it will amplify very quickly. There have been some breaches in the programmer deals. They are beginning to sell content into these OTT systems and the permissions are there – in the Sling TVs and the Apple TVs. Right now there is not a lot of choice. There are only a handful of viewer carriers. Something like Apple TV can become a real threat to the environment.


What are the potentials for connected TVs and Programmatic selling? Caroline Horner tells Charlene Weisler her views in this 5:13 minute video:




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