From December 27th OzTAM begins its Time Shift Viewing (TSV) service for television ratings.
OzTAM has now confirmed this will track playback of television broadcast content up to seven days from actual transmission time in panel homes.
TSV will apply to PVRs, DVRs and VCRs.
OzTAM CEO Kate Inglis-Clark said: “The inclusion of up to seven days playback has been established through extensive stakeholder consultation over many months to ensure OzTAM’s Time Shift Viewing service best meets the needs of industry.
“Seven days is consistent with international best practice and will provide flexible and comprehensive TSV data to our clients.”
OzTAM will measure the actual viewing of recorded television content, not what is being recorded or what has been recorded via a ‘state of the art’ metering solution called UNITAM. Only recorded material played back at standard speed will be recognised.
This will mean significant changes to Australian television ratings. Morning figures will tally overnight ratings for the previous day (Live + As Live). As Live is playback within the same viewing day (2am – 2am).
An afternoon ratings release will include consolidated figures for same day last week (which includes Time Shift up to the last seven days).
The next question is how will this alter our yardstick of ratings success? Will 1.5m still be considered a strong ratings result for a show the next morning?
The answer is yes.
OzTAM says that morning ratings will still form the crux of a show’s performance as an instant snapshot. Where TSV figures will provide context is in looking at shows historically. Annual figures would need to reflect TSV.
TSV is also likely to be good news for shows that compete against live events, are on digital channels or outside of primetime. They may well find another audience is watching them at a time that suits them better.
It will certainly be better having more detail on not just what we’re watching, but how we’re watching.