A conversation with...
Doug Peiffer, CEO, OzTAM
On a personal note how did you get involved in audience measurement?
My first job after university was with Nielsen Media Research, where I was a people meter installation technician. It was real hands-on stuff and offered invaluable perspective on how people in metered households interact with the system. I went from installing meters in the US to assisting in rolling out the first people meter operation in Australia. I have been fortunate enough to work my way through many aspects of the research side but also from the broadcaster side as a client/user of the service.
How is the technology around measurement different to 10 years ago?
I have seen markets move from paper diaries to meters. And I have also seen people meters evolve over the years from identifying the channel through frequency detection, audio and video matching, and audio and video encoding. I believe that panel-based measurement will still be the key to providing the holistic view of the viewing household, but we also must look at supplementing this with other measures of viewing data such as back-channel data. In that respect, the potential to fuse MCN's Multi-View data with OzTAM viewing data is well worth exploring.
Moving into your second year heading up OzTAM, what excites you about the organisation and future of audience measurement?
OzTAM's focus is still to provide the best ratings service possible but also to provide better information that will assist our clients in forecasting where and how the viewers will choose to watch. The pace at which the media landscape is changing is exciting, though measuring television viewing in this changing environment is a major challenge: challenging from a data-capture aspect but also from a reporting standpoint. Non-linear programming content, and how it should be reported alongside primary broadcast viewing estimates, poses the greatest challenge.
Research points to increased viewing of TV on TV as well as other screens, what sort of methods of measurement are being developed to track this?
A range of measurement techniques are being trialled around the world as audience measurement moves to capture viewing via various devices and platforms in addition to traditional TV broadcasts. These include back-channel data, meters that capture digital watermarks on video and audio content, and hub surveys that contact panel members by SMS, and ask them frequently throughout the day what media they are consuming. What we are seeing so far in Australia is that viewing via traditional TV sets is strong and rising, and that these new devices add to, rather than replace, people's TV consumption. There is a strong correlation between screen size and propensity to view, with people preferring to watch on the largest screen available. Also, viewing to mobile devices remains small in comparison to traditional TV broadcasts, though it is growing rapidly.
The ASTRA 2012 Conference session should be fascinating given the rapidly changing environment, what can attendees expect to take away?
I hope that our session will get people thinking about exactly what they expect and need from audience measurement as consumers supplement their traditional TV viewing with new devices. Already we can see, for example, non-STV homes consuming STV channels via internet providers. This is not happening to the degree where it significantly affects the program ratings, but it's not hard to see the day where it might. OzTAM is investing heavily to determine penetration rates across panel households for new devices and how people use them to watch TV content. Last year we established a convergence panel in which 100 OzTAM panel households also had their internet use measured. We've spent months testing to understand how to recruit, how households respond to having their internet usage monitored, how households are using these new devices, and how test data might be reported alongside results from the primary TV panel. That convergence panel is now being folded into the Sydney panel and the convergence panel will be extended to OzTAM homes throughout the country with a view to having some data by the end of the year.
View 'Conversation' with Murray Love, Insights & Analytics Director, Multiview, MCN
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