Melissa Hopkins, chief marketing and audience officer at Seven, wrote an opinion piece calling for top ratings reporting to include VOZ data, stating, “They don’t tell the whole story and haven’t for many years, ignoring how people actually consume content.
This is a line that everyone in the industry would agree with, given the many ways we consume content on our devices and in our timelines.
“In theory, archaic linear nightly rating reports will be ancient history early next year, and information about the national VOZ audience will be the only data out there, she noted in Mumbrella.
“We need to focus on national audience data.
“It’s important from a business standpoint because so many marketers buy national campaigns. It is important from a perception and media perspective because it shows the true reach and impact of television content.
“Why start with the smallest number? Why not let the skeptics understand that your content reaches and engages a large audience, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, year after year?
“And why let people assume that streamers attract large audiences? Maybe they do, maybe they don’t. Who would know, as they don’t release public numbers. This is, of course, their prerogative.
“My point is that, as an industry, we should be shouting from every single rooftop about how many people reach our content, the engagement and connections it creates, and the amazing and enduring role it plays in Australian conversations and Australian culture.”
Hopkins acknowledges that she is new to her role, having been hired by Optus.
“In my 12 weeks as a TV executive, I’ve heard some people argue about what VOZ data should and shouldn’t be released, and in what form, and at what time of day, and to whom,” he continues.
“It’s bullshit. It’s stupid. It’s thinking with your head in the sand. And she’s not doing any of us any favors.
“I am sincerely enthusiastic about VOZ. It’s independent. It’s believable. It is world leader. It is a single source of truth for the industry and the people who report on the industry. “
VOZ data, which includes regional and BVOD numbers, began being published daily by OzTAM earlier this month. These numbers are publicly released at 1pm each day, three hours after the 10am Metro numbers are released. OzTAM, in case you forgot, is equally owned by Seven, Nine and 10.
It took a long time to get the parties to accept the VOZ model and even more to get the technology to work well. The final product appears to be excellent and complete.
By 2024, the daily source is expected to replace Metro data, cheers. TV tonight, which archives Total TV’s daily numbers, has backed up national data since 2013.
It’s also a view that Seven has been pushing hard since its acquisition of the Prime regional network.
In 2021 I also asked each network about their position on national v metro, but Nine was against the concept, because they monetize metro markets. 10 also wanted to talk about subway numbers.
But if we are to shore up the national numbers, surely the networks too need to put an end to any journalistic backstory about their rivals’ metropolitan performance? It still happens in 2023….
To the issue of switching to VOZ, I say bring it to full numbers from 10:00 (or even 9:00) to reflect the way we look.