Freesat launches live audience measurement service

Thursday, August 11th, 2016 
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Freesat launches first live audience measurement service for free-to-air television in the UK

LONDON — Freesat, the UK’s subscription-free satellite TV service, is delighted to announce the launch of a live audience measurement service showing viewing behaviour in real time. The service, which runs on a ground-breaking audience attribution platform developed by TVbeat, shows viewer behaviour across channels and programmes to a high level of granularity, giving channel executives and other users new datasets on which to derive insights from audiences. The anonymised data is captured from over 100,000 connected Freesat set-top boxes – whose users have opted in to share the data – and then processed instantaneously by TVbeat’s powerful platform. The resulting data sets are displayed on a simple online dashboard, which can be easily queried by the user to return detailed insights within moments.

As well as real-time linear TV viewing data, the service returns behavioural information related to time-shifted and on-demand viewing, and can be segmented by users’ location, viewing duration and resolution. The system provides accurate viewing figures for TV, on demand throughout the day. For the first time broadcasters will have the opportunity to act on the data in real-time – such as by optimising programming within and around a show while it is still airing.

For channel executives and other decision-makers, Freesat’s new audience measurement service provides:

  • Audience Flow – Insight into programming crossover showing, for instance, viewers who move across channels and on demand services to watch particular programmes
  • Audience Retention – The ability to identify if an audience returns week-on-week for a new TV show
  • Limitless Time-Shifted Data – Broadcasters can observe data on time-shifted viewing, based on PVR usage within a user-defined timeframe, rather than relying solely on the traditional 7-day window
  • VOD Impact – Granular visibility of services like iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, Netflix, Youtube and other on demand services on live TV share of viewing

Alistair Thom, Managing Director of Freesat, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with TVbeat to develop and test a really innovative service, which breaks new ground for audience measurement in the UK. The insights provided by a combination of real-time data, scale and granularity will, we believe, have a significant and positive effect on the broadcast industry. More importantly, it will benefit viewers, as it enables broadcasters to respond quickly and precisely to their preferences. Ultimately this real-time, granular measurement system will help to maintain a robust free-to-air TV market in the UK. We look forward to working with TVbeat, broadcasters and others to harness the extraordinary potential of the data.”

Robert Farazin, Founder of TVbeat, added: “We believe the future of TV is about generating the most relevant cross-screen experience and leveraging real-time audience data. With Freesat’s deep, raw datasets, and TVbeat’s fast and efficient platform we are able to process and contextualise data and provide insights which will be of immense value to broadcasters and programme makers both now and in the future.”

Freesat is now available in over 1.93 million households and is watched by more than four million viewers every week. More than 750,000 people have downloaded the Freesat app, which is available across iOS, Android and Kindle and is free to download. The app can be used as a remote control, to set recordings remotely, or to plan viewing through the TV Guide and Showcase.

Freesat’s platform hosts over 200 channels. Freesat continues to expand its quality content offering, with a number of new channels recently joining the platform including PBS America, Fox International Channels’ YourTV and UKTV channels Yesterday, Drama and Really. In addition, streaming services Netflix and Wuaki.tv recently launched on Freesat, ensuring customers continue to enjoy a broad selection of content through the connected TV platform.