TV trading in Australia is too complex, but VOZ will make it easier

TV measurement and trading in Australia is one of the most complex systems in the world. Steve Allen, director of Pearman Media, argues the industry's new measurement system VOZ (or Virtual Australia) is a big step forward.

In late April 2020, and for the first time, OzTAM will release daily Total TV Viewing (includes subscription TV viewing and regional TV) data measuring all screen consumption including BVOD (broadcast video on demand – i.e. catch-up program viewing). Thus it is true national viewing data.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Today’s launch displayed for the first time the added audience via BVOD. This amounted to an increase in measured viewing of 4.2% over a week. This becomes more important and impactful in the younger demographics (6.4% incremental reach gain, for example, in 16-24s). The added benefit is when adding/ scheduling free-to-air (FTA)  video (catch-up) to the strategy and media mix, there is even greater incremental added reach over seven to 28 days – at 28 days the viewing mix reach is 48.4% TV only, 44.9% TV viewing plus BVOD, and 3.0% BVOD viewing only.

Thus the profile of TV viewing over time, when this data is added, changes dramatically:

That is a considerable variation in median viewing age, and counterbalances the varied arguments by digital video competitors to TV.

TV measurement and trading in Australia is one of the most complex markets in the world.

VOZ sets out, and will simplify this. The systems and tolls media agencies commonly use will have to adapt or be modified. And there will be a big need for education and re-education inside media agencies. Clients will have to think about their reporting protocols as well.

This will be revolutionary and a likely prelude to total video measurement for Australia, though this will likely take a year or two. A year or two because other video channels do not have the same protocols for viewing, do not have the same data recording formats, do not have the same library recognition of advertisers or products – just to name a few hurdles.

With all the noise though, it’s worth remembering VOZ is a big step forward, and a world first.

Steve Allen is a director at Pearman Media


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