Robust RapidView ratings will boost South African TV sales says Oracle Airtime boss

This shift to digital has made it possible to implement an enhanced technique to measure television audiences, which is complementary to the existing TAM service. Enter Kantar Media who have recently set up a RapidView service on behalf of MultiChoice, the DStv pay-TV operator, and Oracle Airtime Sales, the pay-TV media sales company.

How it will operate

Using return-path technology in combination with a modem, RapidView retrieves channel tuning information directly from set-top boxes in MultiChoice subscriber households. This opt-in panel has been recruited and will be managed locally by TNS Research Surveys in South Africa, part of the Kantar Media network. Officially launched during July 2010 to a range of broadcasters, advertisers and their agencies, the DStv-i service aims to provide improved audience measurement for DStv and also provides MultiChoice with increased insights into the viewing patterns of their customers.

"For the first time, DStv will have ratings that are robust enough at an individual channel level to allow us to explore new sales policies and models and move us towards some form of guaranteed audience delivery," said Peter McKenzie, Managing Director at Oracle. "This promises to revolutionize the whole business of buying commercial airtime and introduce a host of efficiencies into the process.

"In addition, DStv-i will be a major benefit to MultiChoice in terms of acquiring and managing channels and for channel providers and program producers. For the first time, all stakeholders will have one common currency to measure performance.

Pricing model

Data will be made available externally to DStv channel broadcasters and advertising agencies at no direct cost to them, with a paid-for model for other broadcasters. A measure of timeshift viewing is expected to be reported later in 2010.

New services planned

Two further projects are in the pipeline. An online DStv-i consumer opinion panel will be set up in the next few months to enrich the dataset and deliver even greater insights. Consideration is also being given to extending the RapidView service into other African nations, starting with Nigeria.

Measuring response to the World Cup

The spotlight was on South Africa during their hosting of the football World Cup during June and July. South Africa's 47 million inhabitants wholeheartedly embraced the event, avidly following their country's progression through the competition.

DStv-i revealed the success of the World Cup amongst South Africans. Sports programming's share of viewing rose from 11% in May to 19% in June. Looking forward, the next World Cup will be staged in Brazil in 2014. Viewers there will benefit from the transfer to digital television which is currently underway.


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