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Broadcasters And Print, TV Measurers Unite To Standardise Online TV Reporting

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Broadcasters and measurement agencies, in a rare show of camaraderie, have joined together to form the Broadband Measurment Working Group (BMWG) to “develop a common approach for measuring online video content viewing” (via emailed release). ABCe, the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising have joined with the BBC, BSkyB, (NYSE: BSY) BT (NYSE: BT) Vision, Channel 4, Five, ITV (LSE: ITV) and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) to establish a “rights metric” for measuring “IPTV” including simulcasts, streams and downloads – a not-insignificant undertaking.

The BMWG is chaired by former Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre chair Ron Coomber. BARB is using the process to investigate including online viewing data in its standard TV overnights. ABCe may finally be emerging as the print sector’s favoured reporting avenue, but how do those publications measure the video they’re increasingly placing online in a multimedia diversification drive (page view or video play?), and who claims the hit for videos embedded from other sources?

Individual titles may believe they already have the problem in hand (they’re vendors like Brightcove can give them usage data privately), but there will likely be a clamour from advertisers for unification. Coomber said BMWG initially rose from the need to police rights: “The rights holders have agreed to a moratorium while a suitable means of measurement can be developed”. But: “Video advertising, although not a new concept, has reached the point where a reliable measurement tool is needed.” They want to measure use of TV platforms like iPlayer and 4OD as well as the plethora of embedded web options. Research house Continental last month put 4OD on 25 percent, iPlayer on 16 percent, Sky on 12 percent and ITV on 10 percent.