Big Screens & Big Data – is this the future?

Kantar's approach to Audience Measurement is evolving to keep up with changes in viewing patterns and available devices.
12 December 2018
A bank of TV screens

Chief Product Officer, Media Division of Kantar

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We are pioneers in Extended TV measurement and we have now several years’ experience implementing these TV currency services. Since 2013, we have been extending measurement of media owner’s content to new devices, first to desktop computers and laptops to then accommodate tablets and mobile devices.

The consumption of online Video-On-Demand content is increasingly being accessed through the TV set, which continues to be the best available screen to viewers. According to Kantar’s DIMENSION 2018 study, the device ownership for Smart TVs is increasing in many markets. The rise of internet delivered content as a big TV experience has been supported by this penetration of Smart TVs, which reached nearly 40% in the United Kingdom in 2017.

Internet delivered content, a big screen experience

Our latest technology in the form of the Focal Meter enables us to expand our audience measurement base by integrating cross-screen measurement of online TV viewing in countries such as Norway and Finland, where the technology is already deployed. Norway’s viewing data from 2018 has proven that internet delivered TV and Video viewing added 11 minutes to total daily viewing, 60% of which was on the TV set with 20% on desktop computers and 13% on tablets.

Our Focal Meter is a panel-based solution measuring all internet delivered TV and Video content across all devices connected to the home network. This is regardless of what screen the content is being viewed on and also includes Smart TVs. The meter captures online viewing real-time data, identifies which device is being used and detects TV and Video viewing via Kantar, comScore or other analytic provider video tags.

The growth of internet delivered content brings the additional challenge of an increasingly fragmented audience and maintains the need for a hybrid measurement approach using both panel data and census data sources. Among the big data sources available, the video tagging utilised by Kantar and our partners comScore can generate both panel and census level data, which is produced to the same standard and with the same metrics.

Understanding the impact of non-broadcaster content

While we can now measure broadcaster content across all screens, our experience with TV measurement in countries such as Norway has confirmed an average daily decline of viewing to ‘traditional’ TV viewing, which is not made up for by a rise of viewing on other screens. This phenomenon runs in parallel with a largely unchanged daily usage of the TV set. So what is happening on the TV set is that we are seeing increased amounts of ‘unmatched’ data. In Norway, for example, this rose to a daily 48 minutes or 24% of the total viewing time in 2017. Many markets show similar trends, with unmatched viewing even higher among the young.

“Unmatched” data comes from non-TV uses of the TV set (gaming, DVDs etc.) but, importantly, it also includes viewing of non-broadcaster content that cannot be matched to any reference or watermark. So, the challenge is to understand the new viewing universe. What is replacing ‘traditional’ TV viewing, and can we measure it?

Non-broadcaster content on SVOD platforms is not uniformly watermarked or referenced so cannot be measured in the traditional Television Audience Measurement way. It is technically possible, using our Focal Meter, to provide valuable data on reach and time spent on non-broadcaster platforms. This allows direct comparison of viewing of broadcaster versus non-broadcaster content as well as how platforms are being used by whom, how often and for how long.

But while the measurement of the use of these non-broadcaster platforms is possible, monitoring specific content on them is far more complex due to the encryption of streams and some supplier / platform agreements barring the use of audio references or watermarks/tags, and to potential breach of panelist’s own platform subscriber terms, if their viewing is matched to reference data.

Kantar will continue to engage with all industry players to increase understanding of the impact of non-broadcaster content in the TV and Video reporting - preferably with these new services sitting at the same table as our broadcaster stakeholders.

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