From BusinessWeek.com Cable's Big Bet On Hyper-Targeting
Time Warner will test new software that sends different ads to different viewers
Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWX ) will soon begin testing a system designed by software firm Invidi Technologies Inc. that uses the digital set-top cable box to track what each TV in any house has on. It's expected to go into a household test by yearend, with other cable companies following in 2006.
By analyzing where a viewer channel surfs, Invidi says the system can figure out the age, gender, and probable interests of the viewer. Most important, the system then matches TV ads to the consumer based on what might actually interest them.
If a 50-year-old father and his 14-year-old daughter each tuned into a Seinfeld rerun on different TV sets, for example, Invidi's system would send each a different ad during the same commercial break. The father might see a pitch for after-shave lotion while his daughter would see one for acne medicine. If this experiment in hyper-targeting works, it could spread fast
This is how the system works: Invidi's software allows the cable company to constantly and anonymously monitor viewers and their channel surfing to build a database of digital profiles