Foxtel launches Australia’s biggest audience measurement system

This is part of Mumbrella’s coverage of the 2024 upfront season. Click here to see other articles in the series. 

Foxtel has teamed up with Kantar Media to unlock viewing data collected from more than one million Foxtel set-top boxes, providing the largest-ever television ratings system seen in Australia.

The data will be taken from Foxtel subscribers’ set top boxes, using return path data technology, powered by AdvantEdge software from Kantar Media’s TechEdge software unit.

The measurement system will incorporate “data validation, processing, demographic mapping, capping (in other words, adjusting long viewing sessions into realistic viewing levels) and quality control” in order to provide a more granular understanding of pay television consumption, and subscriber behaviour.

“In 2023, we should all be able to confidently measure and trade digital currency in a digital world,” explains Foxtel Media chief Mark Frain.

“Foxtel Group has access to data from over one million set top boxes and more than 3.1 million streaming customers, and we’d be negligent if we leave this data idling for another minute.

“That is why we’ve engaged with Kantar, a world-renowned and locally familiar measurement player, to process and analyse viewing data from the true scale of set top boxes being used in Australia. We’re looking forward to delivering new insight into our audiences to aid media planning.”

Foxtel will be making this data available to clients from December 1, and will include back-dated data from the past two years.

Keld Nielsen, senior director at Kantar Media said the company is “delighted” to be partnering with Foxtel, “leveraging our deep experience in processing operator data to unlock the value of their subscriber data.”

“We are excited to explore new opportunities that serve the Australian media industry, unlocking further opportunities to integrate and enrich more data services in the future.”

Foxtel also announced a partnership with media measurement and optimisation software company, VideoAmp, to develop another new measurement system to capture data from across its various digital platforms.

This partnership is part of Foxtel’s plans to “change how media is bought, valued and sold in Australia”, the company announced at its upfront.

Frain noted the digital tipping point the company reached recently, with 66% — some 3.1 million subscribers — now being digital subscribers, across the likes of Kayo, and Binge.

“As a whole, the Foxtel Group has more viewership data than ever before, and we need a sophisticated solution that can leverage these large datasets,” Frain explained.

“VideoAmp is an established, proven entity in the US, and we’re excited to be working with them to create a new measurement system that’s fit for purpose and connects the dots between ad exposures, audiences, and outcomes.”

All this data will be wrapped up under the FoxTest system, with an aim to “support brands with advertiser appetite moving away from small measurement panels towards the utilisation of premium and scaled data sets in order to deliver better business outcomes.”

Frain notes that Foxtel is merely moving with the international metrics.

“The US television market has operated as a multiple currency marketplace for several years, and we are now seeing the Australian market come around to the concept as more cross-platform audience measurement is required, and brands and agencies flag concerns about economic headwinds,” he said.

VideoAmp works with Warner Brothers Discovery, Disney, and NBC Universal in the US.

Foxtel Media and VideoAmp will float a ‘proof of concept’ for streaming and linear measurement and currency next year.


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