‘The industry has clearly stated that it wants one service’: OzTAM slams Foxtel’s new measurement system

OzTAM, the country’s official television audience measurement body, has hit out at Foxtel’s announcement of its own ratings system, saying it is likely to cause confusion and isn’t in line with what the industry wants.

OzTAM, along with Regional TAM and Nielsen, launched the Virtual Audience (VOZ) metric in May — which combines broadcast viewing on TV sets and connected devices, which is calls the “first truly national picture of total television viewing”.

In addition, it plans to launch VOZ Streaming next year, allowing multi-broadcaster programmatic BVOD trading using a single dataset.

Earlier this month, OzTAM’s new CEO Karen Halligan told Mumbrella the forthcoming measurement system is a “new and complex initiative” currently in the testing phase, “with broad industry consultation and feedback from broadcasters, media agencies, third-party software suppliers, and leading ad tech providers.”

Foxtel announced last week it has teamed up with Kantar Media to unlock viewing data collected from more than one million Foxtel set-top boxes.

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.

“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,” Foxtel Media chief Mark Frain told attendees at its upfront last week.

OzTAM acknowledged in their statement that local and international broadcasters use their own in-house measurement systems “to inform content and advertising strategy and distinguish their respective offers in the marketplace” but argues Foxtel’s new system steps over this line.

“The introduction of a Foxtel-only audience measurement system poses the risk of confusion in the market,” OzTAM’s statement reads.

“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.

“OzTAM is Australia’s only independently audited and world-class service, measuring and reporting all free-to-air and subscription television viewing, in all homes, and measuring all screens and TVs in the home, whether or not they are internet-connected (approximately one third of TV sets in households are not internet enabled).

“For example, VOZ aggregates BVOD viewership across more than 16 million connected devices. As such, OzTAM’s single source-of-truth measurement service underwrites the trust brands and media buyers continue to place in broadcasters’ audience delivery.

“OzTAM values our decades-long relationship with Foxtel as a participating broadcaster and OzTAM data subscriber, and we look forward to that continuing, as evidenced by its recent contract extension.”


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