In 2015, GfK celebrated 50 years of Television Audience Measurement (TAM) in The Netherlands. Time to reflect how emphatically the media landscape and the TAM challenges have changed, all around the globe: Digitization has been driving the proliferation of different devices and ways of viewing TV content. “Connected” consumers shift from live TV to time-shifted and video-on-demand (VOD) viewing – sometimes simultaneously on more than one internet-ready screen. How and in what time do these trends impact TV consumption? How will we capture latest audience behavior in new dimensions to provide broadcasters and advertisers with the insight they need today and tomorrow? How can we “future-proof” TAM in an increasingly complex and challenging environment?
These are definitely exciting times for those working in TAM. As the media ecosystem continues to evolve, we must continue to innovate and develop quality assured ways of measuring it. There are currently two aspects drawing researchers’ attention:
While the total amount of time spent per day watching TV has changed little over the past three years (2013-2015), the type of viewing is changing. Live TV still accounts for the majority of TV viewing, but it has declined, while time-shifted and viewing of VOD content have increased. So, traditional TAM risks missing a substantial part of the “unknown” viewing, consisting of VOD content and subscriptions to VOD services that are on the increase, also in The Netherlands. (Source: SKO/GfK Research)
State-of-the-art measurement strategies, like those of Dutch television audience measurement servicer SKO, already encompass the “big” TV screen and mobile devices. But there is more to come. Sales of smart TVs continue to increase and new technological advancements, such as addressable TVs, are emerging on the horizon. As connectivity increases, we expect more relevant impact on viewing behavior. Luckily, there is still a gap between smart TV penetration and the number of TVs being connected to the internet. That gives TAM innovators time to prepare.
With more time-shift and VOD viewing and more smart TVs in the market – of which only a smaller part have so far been running connected to the internet: How will we learn if, when and how these trends will continue to alter perception of TV content?
Leaders focus on three strategies to master the challenge:
Future-proofing television audience measurement is an innovation-seeking challenge that will need digitally savvy trailblazers. The benefits of this for both broadcasters and advertisers in terms of the targeting and optimization of content are clear: Measurement methods are advancing for targeted advertising, requiring more granular and faster reporting. Also, TAM insights won’t solely focus on broadcast content but also VOD.
“Future-proofing TV audience measurement for the “connected” consumers” was the subject of a presentation GfK gave with SKO, television audience measurement servicer and GfK client in The Netherlands, at the ASI European Television Conference in Venice in November 2015. More information: https://www.asiconferences.com/
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