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Euro TV: Netherlands blazing the trail for online TV viewership ratings

Gerrit Nagel

SKO, the BARB equivalent in the Netherlands, who provide the country’s official television ratings have this month revealed a world first. Working alongside online publishing group VINEX, they now can deliver daily ratings data in granular detail, including figures from not only traditional TV viewing but also online TV ratings.

The ratings, delivered daily since the beginning of 2016, report online consumption of TV programmes, initially from Ster, RTL and SBS broadcasting. This is the first phase of SKO’s Video Data Integration Model which integrates data sources for all online television programme and commercial viewing. The Total Video rating currently will only measure programming but is primed to measure both programmes and commercials; with SKO expecting to deliver all remaining elements to the market later this year.

All Response Media Viewpoint
The increased accuracy of television ratings is a hugely positive move for the sales houses, particularly with numbers in traditional TV viewing declining in favour of more online mediums. The increase in ratings available comes with an increase in the value of airtime they have to sell, freeing up daytime airtime and potentially allowing costs to drop. In theory, these extended TV ratings will enable advertisers, agencies and broadcasters to monitor and monetise online reach and viewing behaviour, as well as giving a fairer representation of the younger audiences who tend to views these mediums.

Though there is currently no concrete plan to introduce this into BARB ratings in the UK, should this test be successful in the Netherlands, it is something we could potentially see introduced into the UK and indeed other EU markets moving forward.

The development presents a few different issues for DR advertisers. Firstly, the impact that this would have on the way that TV is traded. RTL have already started to trade certain audiences across both their offline and online channels. For example, 16-34 year old adults now include a compulsive percentage of GRPs (TVR’s) to be delivered on the VOD platforms. The issue here is that they are trading a TV GRP at the same cost as an online GRP despite the huge difference in potential volume, so the actual cost per thousand is much greater online. Another issue is the implication of treating an online impression in the same way as a traditional TV one. Online viewing does have a higher viewer engagement than daytime ‘wallpaper’ programmes, which traditionally work better for DRTV advertisers, and so we can expect the RR% for online activity to be lower, but with a higher price tag.

There is however a silver lining – a closer relationship between on and offline trading means that there are more available GRPs, and brand advertisers will start to move into this space freeing up the currently saturated daytime market.