“Confusion in the market”: OzTAM pushes back against Foxtel ratings alternative

“Confusion in the market”: OzTAM pushes back against Foxtel ratings alternative

OzTAM has hit back at plans announced by Foxtel to introduce its own audience measurement via data drawn from its set top box.

Kantar Media has been commissioned by Foxtel to collect viewing data through around one million Foxtel set-top boxes using return path data. The service, available for Foxtel Media’s clients from the start of December, will offer furtherr understanding of Pay TV consumption and subscriber behaviour.

The announcement at Thursday’s Upfront presentation has sent a ripple through the industry which has traditionally relied on data from OzTAM, jointly owned by Nine, Seven and 10.

Earlier this year there were suggestions Foxtel numbers may have been inflated by 30% – 40%.

Mark Frain, chief executive, Foxtel Media, this week said: “The 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 Kantar Media 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 also confirmed it is not leaving the OzTAM panel.

But yesterday OzTAM, which welcomes incoming CEO Karen Halligan in late November, said, “Broadcasters in Australia and internationally are using their first-party data to inform content and advertising strategy and distinguish their respective offers in the marketplace – as highlighted this year in the various broadcaster Upfront presentations.

“However, we acknowledge that the introduction of a Foxtel-only audience measurement system poses the risk of confusion in the market. 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.”