OMG backs Foxtel’s new audience measurement system

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has become the first holding company to officially sign on to Foxtel’s new audience measurement system, in a partnership it says will “redefine CTV measurement”.

The Kantar Media return path data service has been been the subject of heavy scrutiny from Australia’s free-to-air television industry since its announcement at the 2024 Foxtel Upfronts last month.

Acting as an alternative to Total TV measurement offered by OzTam’s VOZ measurement system, Kantar and Foxtel will deliver audience insights from more than one million Foxtel set top boxes installed across Australia, along with three million users of Foxtel’s streaming products, including BINGE and Kayo Sports.

The new service will roll out in 2024 providing quarter hour format for ingestion into agency systems and two years of comparison data back to January 2022.

Of the decision to partner with Foxtel on its measurement venture, OMG Australia’s chief investment officer, Kritiaan Kroon said the service would “provide a new level of granular data for clients” that would complement OMG’s recently launched in-house Total TV measurement tool,  ADgile Catalyst.

“There is a clear need for these products as the Australian CTV market is becoming far more complex for advertisers accessing Foxtel, YouTube, TV Networks, SBS, Vevo, Netflix, LG, Samsung and soon Amazon Prime,” he added. “Alternative audience measurement is inevitable and, in our view, complementary to established audience measurement through a composite approach that unlocks deeper insights and value for OMG clients.”

Kroon continued that Australia was “heading down the same path” that had been taken in the US several years ago, with innovation and opportunity driven by the introduction of “multiple measurement products and alternative currencies”.

“We will be using our US grown capability and experience to enable Australian use cases and frameworks, starting with Foxtel Group products and platforms, to give a clear market advantage to our clients in the rapidly evolving CTV universe.”

Foxtel Media CEO, Mark Frain, added : “A robust and independently verified audience measurement system is a critical tenet of television advertising – and should bring together the best available data to maximise value and opportunity for clients. We are excited to be working with OMG, who are known innovators, to help drive this new opportunity. They were on the phone the day after the Upfronts!

“We know the industry is open to and excited about change, as demonstrated by the many positive conversations we have had with clients and agencies since our Upfront announcements. The roll out of this Kantar Media measurement service on set top box viewing will help evolve how we trade inventory, powering us go beyond demographics and collaboratively align across total video segments.

“You’ve got to acknowledge where this is heading, we’re on a journey to trade all of our inventory as impressions, giving customers exactly what they want, a common denominator across the video platforms that they spend on,” he added.

In a statement responding to Foxtel’s announcement in October, national television measurement body, OzTam, was critical, asserting the move risked confusing the market.

“Introducing a new measurement service is expected to raise questions regarding reliability, comparability and integration into agencies’ buying systems. The industry has clearly stated that it wants one service to measure Total TV and that is what OzTAM provides.”

In an opinion piece written for Mumbrella, Seven West Media’s chief marketing officer, Mel Hopkins added weight OzTam’s call, describing the Foxtel system as “deeply flawed and misdirected move”.

Media buyers, however, have broadly celebrated the effort from Foxtel to move beyond traditional measurement tools.

Speaking to Mumbrella about Foxtel’s Upfront in October, Foundation head of investment, Louis Maine, said:

“Moving away from OzTAM ratings to their own Kantar ratings is a bold move but Foxtel has previously voiced some concerns that OzTAM underreports the actual viewing data they can see from their set-top box data. Having access to over 1 million devices’ actual viewing behaviour is something we are excited about.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.