One of the media industry’s biggest puzzles over the past decade has been ascertaining exactly how much connected device viewing contributes to the total audience watching broadcast TV. We’ve long observed that as Australians have embraced the mind-boggling array of content, screen and platform choice now available that the reach of broadcast TV goes well beyond the TV set itself. It’s been unclear though to what extent such ‘any time, any place, any screen’ viewing impacts the Total TV picture.
Australia took a big step forward in 2016 with the launch of OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement (VPM) service, which provides a device-level count of broadcaster video on demand (BVOD) minutes consumed across major demographics. The VPM report captures BVOD played on 14 million connected devices, and shows such viewing rose by 37% in 2019 compared to a year earlier. Linear TV and BVOD are measured by different methodologies however, and marrying the panel-based metric for linear and census-level approach for BVOD has been a challenge for audience measurement providers around the world.
Meanwhile, broadcasters and their clients continue to plan and trade linear TV and BVOD in silos, with the question of cross-screen, de-duplicated reach unanswered – until now.
Today marks the start of a new era of what we immodestly describe as ‘televisionary measurement’ with the release of initial insights from VOZ: the foundation of Australia’s new Total TV reporting standard. VOZ brings together broadcast viewing on TV sets and connected devices to provide all-screen, cross platform planning and reporting for Australia’s television industry. It delivers step change in the way broadcast TV is measured and evaluated.
Initial VOZ insights include:
National Weekly Reach of Total TV
Each week, 85 per cent of Australians watch broadcast TV and almost a quarter (6 million people) watch BVOD.
28-day National Reach of Total TV
Over a four-week period, nearly half of linear TV viewers have also watched broadcast content on other screens. 3 per cent of Total TV viewing is exclusively BVOD, meaning those viewers watched no linear TV during that time span.
Median Age of Linear TV and BVOD
The median age of BVOD viewers is 15 years younger than that for linear TV. In fact, the median age of the BVOD audience is on par with that of TV in 2001.
These initial VOZ insights have profound implications for the media industry. They clearly show that to fully understand the performance of TV content requires a national view of how that content is consumed over time and across devices. 30 per cent of the Total TV audience is comprised of viewing in regional Australia. Over a 28-day period, half of all TV viewers cycle between their television sets and other screens. BVOD delivers approximately 4 per cent incremental reach to linear TV viewing each week, and around 3 per cent over a four-week period. VOZ data crystallises what we have long known intuitively was the case: that reaching a target audience involves considering how all of those screens are used over time, and planning accordingly.
This week’s release of initial VOZ insights is just the beginning. VOZ will continue to evolve, and its adoption as the industry’s new Total TV currency will hopefully come once broadcasters and media agencies integrate it into their systems. The VOZ database has been built to allow the industry to agree a common set of advanced targets (audience segments) to support planning and post-analysis beyond standard age/sex demographics in future. And VOZ will show its full potential in the media buying ecosystem once deployed within the broadcasters’ planned shared demand-side platform.
VOZ insights however can be used now in planning, delivering a much clearer picture of viewing on all screen types, inside and outside homes, around Australia and over time.
Though viewing patterns will continue to change with content and platform choice, Australians still watch a lot of TV. And early VOZ data shows that BVOD viewing brings a significant weekly reach gain across younger demographics.
VOZ is here to reveal the Total TV picture, providing an objective, transparent and standard metric to evaluate TV performance across all screens and platforms, and reinforcing that television remains the most effective way to connect to audiences at scale.
Doug Peiffer is CEO of OzTAM, Australia’s official source of TV audience measurement for the five mainland metropolitan markets; nationally for subscription television; and broadcast TV viewed on connected devices (BVOD). https://oztam.com.au https://virtualoz.com.au