OzTAM sets February 7 launch date for its delayed online TV ratings service


Peiffer: we are moving to a hybrid number eventually.

OzTAM has set a launch date of February 7 for its new Video Player Measurement (VPM) Report, giving the industry the first audited numbers on the number of hours of TV watched on the network’s catch up services.

The new ratings report will initially cover online catch-up television, before expanding to offer live streaming numbers and eventually a hybrid number that shows both the terrestrial TV audience and the online audience across a seven days and eventually 28 days period.

The launch, which faced multiple delays, has been eagerly awaited by the major TV networks which are seeing key parts of their audiences shift online. It comes just days before Nine launches its live streaming service 9Now.

“It important that we measure and report back to the advertisers and broadcasters on how people are using other devices to stay in touch with content”, Doug Peiffer CEO of OzTAM told Mumbrella.

TheOzTAM boss noted that the February 7 announcement was the first step in a process that would eventually give a hybrid number of both the terrestrial TV and online audience.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 10.47.26 am“This is stage one and this is just looking at a piece of (online) content and looking at VPM ratings for that content”, said Peiffer.

“But eventually we’ll be able to put it together and show how many people are on TV, mobile, tablet etc., moving to a hybrid system where we can then apply demographics and apply it back to the panels so we can get a reach and frequency.”

OzTAM estimates the full hybrid data, including demographic information, will not be ready in the service until 2017.

“(Hybrid data) will take some time,” said Peiffer. “The next stage will be seven-day rolling data, coming out daily, we will then go to a 28-day rolling because, of course, some content lives longer.”

“We will also eventually have live streaming numbers, not just catch-up only,” he said. “You will be able to see the numbers coming from the likes of Seven and Nine and then we will head to the question of how to merge it.

“It will take some time. The trickiest part is how to merge it and coming up with that reach and frequency across.”

The TV Networks had been promising VPM Ratings would launch in November, with the launch facing a number of delays amid technical difficulties around multiple broadcasters and platforms across a number of devices.

“We have been working on this for quite some time,” said Peiffer. “What it requires is cooperation from the broadcasters to put a piece of code in their player and then they have to work with each development team to ensure it works with each player and their many different players for different devices: one for web; one for iOS; Android, etc.

“It took a long time to get plugged in and (to) put that code across all the broadcasters to get census level data.”

The current ratings system measures timeshifted viewing on personal recording devices which is different to the new VPM Ratings which are measuring online catch TV audiences from services such as ABC iView, Plus7, 9Now, Ten Play and SBS On Demand.

Nic Christensen 


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