OzTAM set to launch Video Play ratings


OzTAM will finally launch its long-awaited ratings data for video plays.

The Video Player Measurement (VPM) Report will begin in its first stage from the first day of the ratings year, Sunday February 7th, as complimentary data to the current terrestrial ratings.

The service was initially due to launch in December.

The first figures will be available a week later, Monday February 15th, with cumulative viewing data tallying the previous seven days. The ‘total minutes’ data will cover both Live and Catch-Up video plays, however at launch the top program rankings will be for Catch-Up only due to technical reasons.

ABC, Seven, Nine, TEN, SBS and Foxtel are all participating in the new system encomapssing internet-delivered TV content (e.g., tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, desktop and laptop computers, and games consoles). An equitable system has taken considerable time to develop, given the different platforms in use by various networks, but will finally reflect more context about the way Australians are viewing.

It will include demographic data in 2017.

OzTAM’s CEO Doug Peiffer said: “We’re excited to offer a market level picture of how much TV content Australians are actually playing on connected devices.

“The VPM Report will give our clients further insight on how Australians consume their favourite television content, whether it is live or playback viewing on their TV set – and therefore captured in OzTAM TV ratings – or via a broadcaster’s video player on the viewer’s connected device.

“VPM ratings require broadcaster cooperation,” he continued. “We thank our launch partners – ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, SBS and Foxtel – for working with us towards OzTAM’s first Video Player Measurement Report and on an ongoing basis to enhance delivery of the VPM service.

“As is the case for audience measurement services around the world, OzTAM is actively working to expand VPM to incorporate demographic information and reach estimates. This next step will show us who is watching in addition to the devices being used.”

About OzTAM’s Video Player Measurement Report
OzTAM’s measurement of online TV viewing draws on two years of development and testing and is a world-leading approach. The system has also been independently reviewed by PwC.

Participating broadcasters (at launch stage ABC, Seven Network, Nine Network, Network Ten, SBS and Foxtel) implement OzTAM’s software development kit, which includes code developed by OzTAM. Each broadcaster’s video player is coded across all operating systems and devices. The code attaches a broadcaster-provided unique media identifier (ID) to every piece of live or on-demand content within a participating broadcaster’s video player library.

This means OzTAM can correctly attribute every such minute of this content played on individual devices, whatever those devices are (e.g. smart TV, smartphone, tablet, desktop/laptop, games console), the platform or operating system used (e.g. Android, iOS, web, games console) and wherever those devices may be.

A note about privacy
OzTAM only knows that a device is playing content from a participating broadcaster’s video player service. At no point does OzTAM monitor anything other than when the device is accessing a network app or browser-based video server. OzTAM is not able to identify the user of the device.


  1. This is great news in terms of getting a better idea of the viewing decisions of people.

    The one element still missing from the Australian ratings system is satisfaction rankings. In the UK data on the level of viewer satisfaction with a show (expressed as a percentage) is published providing an idea not only of viewer numbers but their view of the quality of product.

    This information is telling as it goes some way towards identifying the level of engagement of an audience. The more engaged that more likely the viewer is to watch advertising.

    I would have thought this would be vital information for broadcasters but it seems not at this stage.

    • Secret Squïrrel

      They can tell when people change the channel but they also need to know whether people put ads on mute (guilty), second screen/read a dead tree (guilty), chat with someone (guilty), or leave the room entirely (guilty).

      Frankly, I think a lot of advertisers believe that their ads are being watched by hundreds of thoudands of people but in actuality are wasting their money.

    • As I understand the UK system those viewer satisfaction & audience appreciation scores you see come from each broadcaster’s own audience surveys and other viewer contact, and aren’t part of the “official” (i.e. BARB) ratings.

  2. This is great to hear. If these new figures finally provide some clarity around where the generally decreased levels of live TV audiences have gone and how they’re now consuming television differently, and if what we end up with are numbers that fully representative total viewing audiences across networks and individual programs, the wait might have been worthwhile.

  3. The last sentence is “OzTAM is not able to identify the user of the device”, but earlier in the press release it reads “It will include demographic data in 2017”. Don’t these contradict each other?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.