08 January 2016
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The Netherlands publishes the first daily ratings for television content viewed online

The first egtabite of 2016 looks at a major development in measuring and understanding television viewing beyond the traditional TV set: detailed, high quality online viewing ratings as delivered by a hybrid measurement methodology in the Netherlands.

SKO (Stichting KijkOnderzoek) – the JIC responsible for TV audience measurement in the Netherlands – has become the first organisation in the world to combine panel and census data to produce online video ratings. For the first time, the market has access to reliable information about not only the size of the audience watching shows online, but also demographic data about those viewers.

Audience measurement adapting to today’s evolving TV landscape

Viewers across Europe are increasingly accessing television content – both live and on-demand – on a variety of connected devices, complementing viewing on the big screen television set. Traditional television audience measurement (TAM) using panels of people meters struggles to capture this fragmented audience, leading to significant under measurement of today’s audience. SKO, along with organisations in Germany, Sweden, the UK and elsewhere, has been developing new techniques for extending measurement into the digital realm. Details of these and other projects can be found in the egta insight: Advances in hybrid television audience measurement.

These next-generation methodologies combine representative panels with machine-level, or census, data. Panels, which have long been the cornerstone of TAM, deliver robust ratings for linear television viewing, and in recent years have been adapted to measure some forms of on-demand content. Census-level measurement, on the other hand, captures the totality of viewing for a particular programme or commercial, without the need to extrapolate data to the population as a whole. This is particularly valuable as viewing fragments away from the television set; online audiences may be too small to be accurately measured by panels. However, census data on its own does not give any insights into who is actually accessing the content.

Typically, the first stage in hybrid measurement is to combine panel and census data to provide ratings for online video viewing, and this is the major step achieved by SKO for the beginning of 2016.

The second step – and ultimate objective – of hybrid measurement is to fuse data for offline and online TV viewing. SKO is expected to go live with this second phase of its project during the course of 2016, with the cross-media Video Total.

SKO Video Data Integration Model (SKO-VIM) – Phase 1                

Online video viewing behaviour in the Netherlands is measured using the SKO Online Panel and SKO Census data. The panel, operated by TNS Nipo and Kantar Media, consists of 5,000 people who identify themselves at the start of each viewing session either through a home page login (for desktops and laptops) or via an app on mobile devices (available for Android and iOS operating systems). The census-level data is derived from content tagging, which is carried out by participating broadcasters at source. Demographic information from the online panel can then be appended to the census data.

Initially, online programme ratings are available for the broadcasters NPO, RTL Nederland and SBS Broadcasting, with the rest of the market due to join SKO’s online effort later in 2016. The first half of the year will also see the publication of ratings and reach data for online video commercials.

In a press release, Bas de Vos, Managing Director at SKO, noted: “We’ve had a wonderful time working towards our goal: making online programme ratings available per January 1 2016. The publication of these ratings is only the first phase of a larger whole: the SKO Video Data Integration Model (SKO-VIM). In the course of 2016, SKO-VIM will be instrumental in producing a new addition to our portfolio: the Video Total. With the Video Total, we will be able to report on the total reach of programmes and video commercials. On top of that, it will shed light on the share in total reach of online viewing behaviour and TV-set viewing behaviour.”

First results

The first published data from SKO (from October 2015) sheds new insights into Dutch video viewing behaviour. Some highlights include:

  • 21.5% of Dutch people (6+) were reached by the online programme catalogue of NPO, RTL and SBS
  • The reach for female viewers (23.7%) was higher than that for men (19.3%)
  • The target group 20-34 years (30.9%) showed the highest reach, followed by 35-49 years (24.7%) and 13-19 years (24.4%)
  • The target groups 50+ (17.1%) and 6-12 years (8.7%) showed significantly lower online reach
  • On average, online viewers (6+) watched online TV for 86.3 minutes in October, with women watching for longer than men

Why this matters for egta members

Television audiences are clearly fragmenting, as people tune into their favourite content across multiple devices and platforms. Whilst this is great news for viewers, it is proving to be a growing challenge for audience measurement, resulting in increasing numbers of potentially lost eyeballs. It may not yet be the case in Europe, but many in the US television industry are calling existing TAM a broken model.

Efforts to extend measurement into the digital sphere are complex, but progress is being made towards robust hybrid solutions. By investing and innovating today, the television industry stands well placed to secure a future in which every viewer – regardless of the device or screen they use – can be measured and monetised.

egta encourages all television sales houses to engage with the JICs and other organisations working towards next-generation audience measurement methodologies, and to explore the pioneering work being carried out on markets across North America and Europe.

For more information on this subject, please contact the egta team.


Target: TV
Background info

Please click on the links below to access the relevant documents:

» Press release (please click here)

» Factsheet (please click here)

» Brochure (please click here)

Download in PDF

Please click here download the PDF version

» Compilation of TV egtabites 2015
» Compilation of RADIO egtabites 2015

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» egta Market Intelligence Meeting (TV & Radio)

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