Next-Gen TV audience measurement pioneered in Phoenix Model Market project

Thursday, April 4th, 2019
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Next-Gen TV Audience Measurement Pioneered In Phoenix Model Market Project Aims To Improve Visibility For Broadcasters And Advertisers

PHOENIX, AZ — Five audience measurement firms are working together to help Phoenix broadcasters understand the capabilities of Next-Gen TV, providing more accurate and timely information that will someday help viewers tailor the programming they want to watch and enable broadcasters and advertisers to reach viewers with messages that will interest them.

The new ATSC 3.0 service permits broadcast TV audience measurement to advance to a new era of more granular and more actionable insights because it enables many measurement options. Current measurement tools will continue to be valuable, and ATSC 3.0 can allow even more information for broadcasters and advertisers (not unlike the visibility offered to advertisers on today’s web pages and apps). Because these new tools are being developed from the ground up, participants in this project will be able to deploy best practices in privacy by design in crafting an approach that will ensure that the privacy expectations of consumers will be met.

The Phoenix Model Market Next-Gen TV pilot project launched last year, offering testing for broadcast equipment implementation, new services, and technology offerings to show how the ATSC 3.0 standard could be deployed by broadcasters while maintaining existing digital TV service for viewers. Participating TV groups and stations in the Phoenix Model Market include: Arizona State University’s Arizona PBS (KAET) , Arizona Television’s KAZT Channel 7 (Independent), E.W. Scripps’ KNXV (ABC), Fox Television Stations’ KSAZ (Fox) and KUTP (MyTV), Meredith’s KPHO (CBS) and KTVK (Independent), Nexstar Media Group’s KASW (CW); Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ (Telemundo), TEGNA’s KPNX (NBC), and Univision’s KFPH-CD (UniMas) and KTVW (Univision).

“We’ve had a very busy year in Phoenix, launching with one ATSC 3.0 signal on a Univision transmitter and gradually adding test streams from additional broadcasters. We’re testing what viewers will someday see – from the transmitter to the receiver. Initial consumer response in laboratory testing is very positive, and we’re trying various audience measurement methods to see what will work in a real-world environment,” explained Pearl TV business group managing director Anne Schelle.

“Our efforts in Phoenix provide an open test bed and a proving ground for technology, implementations, and new services. We’ve been working alongside some of the brightest minds in audience measurement, encouraging all to take the capabilities of Next-Gen TV for a test drive to see how this new technology can help broadcasters, viewers, and advertisers,” Schelle said.

Metering by comScore

“Comscore is innovating new TV metering technology that will measure the next generation of TV transmission standards and will join Pearl TV in its efforts to help local TV stations better understand the opportunities with this new format,” said Chuck Shuttles, VP Panel Development at Comscore.

Kantar Media Watermarks Audio

Kantar Media’s audio watermark was tested over Phoenix’s ATSC 3.0 transmission and successfully detected by a mobile device in the audio of an ATSC 3.0 Smart TV using acoustic coupling. Kantar Media’s audio watermarking technology, which was specified as an open-standard by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in 2018 for the binding of identifiers in content and advertising, is part of a joint initiative known as Trackable Asset Cross-Platform Identification (TAXI) Complete, launched in 2013 to standardize video asset identification.

Steve Davis, Global Product Director at Kantar Media added, “Kantar is excited to successfully test the compatibility of our audio watermark, in conjunction with our TAXI Complete partners, with the next generation television transmission standard and some of the first ATSC 3.0 receivers in the country.”

Validating Nielsen Audience Measurement

Nielsen joined the Phoenix Test market trial to ensure its audience measurement, watermark technology performs optimally with ATSC 3.0 participating stations in the Phoenix Model Market. Nine stations are delivering content with Nielsen currency watermarks made possible by collaboration with all the major equipment vendors. Nielsen has also validated its new metering technology to work in conjunction with ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals.

“We’re pleased to be supporting ATSC 3.0, and this critical Phoenix Pilot Program to ensure Nielsen audience measurement can perform optimally with next generational digital TV standards,” said Scott L. Brown, SVP Strategic Relations & Audience Technologies. “Nielsen is excited to see ATSC 3.0 come to fruition, and for the prospect that this new standard can deliver greater consumer experiences and commercial opportunities for broadcasters.”

Verance Aspect Watermark Embedded in Phoenix Stations

The Verance Aspect watermark is successfully being embedded and detected inside the ATSC 3.0 transmission of all Phoenix Model Market Stations. The watermark ensures that household-level addressable experiences can be delivered at scale to 100% of televisions, regardless of distribution path. These experiences may include advanced advertising, audience data collection and enhanced audio experiences, which were highly rated in Phoenix Consumer Lab testing.

“The Verance Aspect watermark provides a critical, standards-based path that powers two-way connectivity within today’s broadcast environment and enables broadcasters to compete on par with digital platforms” said Joe Winograd, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Verance.

Phoenix Model Market Application Framework

Under contract with Phoenix Model Market partners, Yotta Media Labs is building the Phoenix broadcaster’s application framework to run on ATSC 3.0 smart TVs. This application framework includes the user experiences and background processes including DRM, much the same as any webpage does today. The application framework anonymously reports on user activity to support product development, new feature evaluation, and audience estimation.

Raj Patel, CEO of Yotta Media Labs said, “We are applying the same architecture that is used our HbbTV 2.0 clients today to understand how millions of European households are using their services. We are excited to be enabling the same service for the Phoenix broadcasters to make the launch of Next Gen TV services a success.