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Fetch TV creates new ratings app but downplays potential to challenge to Oztam

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 11.51.09 amMajor IPTV player Fetch TV has created a new mobile ratings app which provides live data on TV viewing across some 250,000 set top boxes, Mumbrella can reveal.

The Fetch TV ratings app is already the largest window into the TV viewing habits of millions of Australians with the channel selections of tens of thousands of consumers available on a one hour delay, but Fetch TV has immediately played down the potential the data to challenge official industry metric Oztam.

“Given the size of our base and the breadth of our service offering, we now have the most comprehensive information on viewing behaviour on the main screen available in Australia,” said Scott Lorson, Fetch TV CEO told Mumbrella.

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 12.47.04 pm

Wednesday night viewing during the State of Origin

“We have no intention of creating a new industry currency for advertising purposes,” he said when asked if the Fetch TV ratings service could challenge Oztam and its 3,500 panel boxes.

“Whilst our ‘panel’ is now more than 50 times larger than OzTam, the very nature of our offering and distribution model creates a clear bias.”

An screenshot of the app during NBA finals

An screenshot of the app during NBA finals

Fetch TV ratings will likely to be of interest to many in the media industry because it provides a new window into consumer use across free-to-air, subscription TV, various video-on-demand services along with Youtube and other apps such as the TV catch-up services.

The service also has state by state breakdowns and graphs the changes of channel by consumers over the course of a viewing period, with Fetch TV also able to see data on a granular postcode level.

“Fetch TV are able to measure real time usage across live FTA and Subscription TV, recorded TV, the full suite of video-on-demand offerings, as well as YouTube, Media Centre and other apps.  We have developed a rich set of apps to provide real time and historic information on all viewing behaviours,” he said.

“We have invested heavily over the past years to ensure that we can capture all aggregate usage information in real time, at a post code level, from the entire population of set-top-boxes.”

Fetch TV noted that all its data was compliant with privacy laws and but that there is also some information that it is also was contractually unable to release, such as the consumption of SVOD service Netflix within its platform.

“Privacy concerns have been addressed, as we only capture aggregate info at a post code level,” he said.

The move by Fetch TV comes at a time when the pressure is growing on the free-to-air networks and their metric Oztam to provide better, more accurate cross-media data which includes services outside traditional free-to-air broadcasting.

Lorson

Lorson

Lorson said they were receiving enormous interest in the data from the industry, but the app will not be publicly available and they were weighing up how they would make it available emphasising they would only do so in a way that “expands the pie rather than simply providing another source of yield pressure on advertising platforms”.

“We had an enormous amount of interest from within the industry, and are actively consulting with key players to identify the best approach for broader circulation,”  he said.

“We are keen to contribute to the publicly available insights on customer behaviours and trends, but to do so in a way that expands the pie rather than simply providing another source of yield pressure on advertisers.  We will continue to reach out to industry players to identify and prioritise such opportunities, with partnership outcomes likely.”

As Mumbrella revealed earlier this week, Fetch TV is rapidly approaching the 250,000 subscriber mark on the back of its deal with Netflix and a push for marketshare by telcos Optus, iiNet and Dodo, all of whom bundle Fetch TV within their packages.

Lorson said their priority for the moment would be how they could use the data for a better viewing experience.

“Fetch TV will surpass 250,000 subscribers this month, having added over 60k in the past 3 months,” he said.

“Our main focus is to leverage the insights to help Fetch TV and our partners enhance the user experience, including all content decisions and enhancement priorities.   We are also working on ways to provide contextual and relevant visibility to our subscribers, be that via the main screen or their 2nd screen.  Watch this space.”

Nic Christensen 

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