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Australia's OzTam Responds to Foxtel Ad Measure Launch

October 30 2023

In Australia, official television audience measurement body OzTAM has responded to Foxtel's launch last week of its own ad currency service, saying it 'poses the risk of confusion in the market' and that 'the industry has clearly stated that it wants one service to measure Total TV'.

Karen HalliganLast week Kantar Media announced it had been commissioned by Pay TV provider Foxtel to deliver an audience measurement service ingesting data collected from the set top boxes of more than one million subscribers using return path data technology. Tapping into analytics from VideoAmp, Foxtel Media will access the data using Kantar TechEdge's AdvantEdge software, which incorporates data validation, processing and capping, adjusting long viewing sessions into realistic viewing levels.

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain said 'In 2023, we should all be able to confidently measure and trade digital currency in a digital world. 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'.

OzTAM has been rolling out its Virtual Australia ('VOZ') Total TV database, which brings together broadcast viewing on TV sets and connected devices, since early 2020 (public launch was the following year). OzTam is jointly owned by the country's broadcasters Nine, Seven and 10, and works with Regional TAM and supplier Nielsen to provide it. This 'first truly national picture of total television viewing' will if all goes to plan be enhanced next year with the addition of VOZ Streaming.

Earlier in October OzTAM's new CEO Karen Halligan (pictured) told media industry paper Mumbrella the VOZ 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'. Understandably, then, it's not too happy about the Foxtel launch and in its statement today opined that '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'.

The statement continued: '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'. Foxtel has confirmed it will not be ending its involvement in the OzTam panel.

A week ago marcoms firm PHD Australia announced a partnership with cross-media audience measurement solution Beatgrid, giving the agency and its clients 'the most complete view of campaign measurement, in order to understand the nuances of specific media channels and how they contribute to campaign success'.

Web sites: www.oztam.com.au and www.foxtel.com.au .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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