MESA, ARIZ. — No less than five audience measurement firms are working together to help Phoenix-based television broadcast companies 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.
According to the Phoenix Model Market group, overseen by Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle, Comscore, Kantar Media, Nielsen, Verance and Yotta Media Labs have united to together on the ATSC 3.0 pilot project taking shape in the Valley of the Sun.
While current measurement tools will continue to be valuable, 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, the Model Market group is quick to note.
“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,” it says.
Participating TV groups and stations in the Phoenix Model Market include: Arizona State University’s Arizona PBS Member station (KAET); Arizona Television’s unaffiliated KAZT-7, The E.W. Scripps Co.’s ABC affiliated KNXV-15, Fox O&O KSAZ-10 and MyNetwork TV KUTP-TV; Meredith Corp.’s KPHO-5 (CBS) and news-oriented “Family TV” KTVK-3; Nexstar Media Group’s soon-to-be sold affiliate of The CW Network, KASW-TV; Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ-TV; TEGNA’s NBC affiliated KPNX-12; and Univision’s KFPH-CD (UniMas) and KTVW-TV (Univision).
Univision is hosting the test station, which can only be viewed from their facilities at this time, Schelle tells RBR+TVBR.
“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,” she said. “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.”
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 added.
At Comscore, which is dealing with the sudden loss of its CEO and President, new TV metering technology is being developed that will measure the next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard.
Meanwhile, 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.
At the same time, 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.
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.
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.