AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR BUSINESS PODCAST

Fear & Greed, Fear and Greed

Karen Halligan is the CEO of OzTAM, the company that measures Australian television audiences. OzTAM is independent, but is owned by three fierce rivals: Tv networks Nine, Seven and Ten.

This week OzTAM changed the way audiences are measured in Australia, bringing it into an age of catch-up viewing and online streaming. Karen Halligan talks to Sean Aylmer about the changes, and why it matters to TV networks, advertisers and audiences.

Find out more: https://fearandgreed.com.au

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1
00:00:03,960 –> 00:00:07,350
Sean Aylmer: Welcome to the Fear and Greed Business Interview, I’m Sean Aylmer. Last

2
00:00:07,350 –> 00:00:10,410
Sean Aylmer: year, the Matildas set new records in Australia for television

3
00:00:10,410 –> 00:00:13,920
Sean Aylmer: audiences with millions tuning in to watch. The numbers were

4
00:00:13,980 –> 00:00:16,980
Sean Aylmer: staggering, but it really drove home the point that the

5
00:00:16,980 –> 00:00:19,709
Sean Aylmer: way we measure TV audiences in Australia is a little

6
00:00:19,710 –> 00:00:22,020
Sean Aylmer: out of date. A lot of people don’t watch linear

7
00:00:22,020 –> 00:00:24,989
Sean Aylmer: broadcast TV. Plenty are now catching up using catch up

8
00:00:24,989 –> 00:00:28,469
Sean Aylmer: video, watching it whenever they want, or streaming on various

9
00:00:28,469 –> 00:00:31,559
Sean Aylmer: devices. So this week, after a number of years of

10
00:00:31,559 –> 00:00:36,059
Sean Aylmer: development, the TV industry introduced a major overhaul of audience

11
00:00:36,059 –> 00:00:38,460
Sean Aylmer: measurement. For many of us, the numbers are an interesting

12
00:00:38,460 –> 00:00:40,979
Sean Aylmer: piece of trivia, how many people are watching any given

13
00:00:40,979 –> 00:00:44,820
Sean Aylmer: show, which ones are hits, etc. But for media companies

14
00:00:44,820 –> 00:00:48,960
Sean Aylmer: and advertisers, these numbers are big business. Karen Halligan is

15
00:00:48,960 –> 00:00:52,859
Sean Aylmer: the Chief Executive Officer of OzTAM, the company responsible for

16
00:00:52,859 –> 00:00:57,000
Sean Aylmer: measuring TV audiences in Australia. OzTAM is independent, but it’s owned

17
00:00:57,000 –> 00:01:00,749
Sean Aylmer: by the major commercial networks 7, 9 and 10. Karen,

18
00:01:01,020 –> 00:01:02,340
Sean Aylmer: welcome to Fear and Greed.

19
00:01:02,820 –> 00:01:05,040
Karen Halligan: Thank you very much, Sean. It’s lovely to be with you.

20
00:01:05,370 –> 00:01:07,979
Sean Aylmer: So how do you work with all those? 7, 9

21
00:01:07,980 –> 00:01:09,959
Sean Aylmer: and 10, I thought they were ferocious competitors.

22
00:01:12,330 –> 00:01:15,720
Karen Halligan: They are ferocious competitors, but when it comes to the

23
00:01:15,720 –> 00:01:19,620
Karen Halligan: television industry at large and the importance of it to

24
00:01:19,620 –> 00:01:22,979
Karen Halligan: Australian community, I think they’re pretty united on making sure

25
00:01:22,980 –> 00:01:24,870
Karen Halligan: that they’re sending out the right messages to the right

26
00:01:24,870 –> 00:01:25,890
Karen Halligan: people at the right time.

27
00:01:26,280 –> 00:01:29,670
Sean Aylmer: So presumably, the total audience is the Australian population, however

28
00:01:29,670 –> 00:01:32,940
Sean Aylmer: big that is, 26, 27 million or so. How does this

29
00:01:33,060 –> 00:01:34,290
Sean Aylmer: new system work?

30
00:01:35,010 –> 00:01:38,490
Karen Halligan: So look, previously we were reporting out of Metro TV

31
00:01:38,490 –> 00:01:42,720
Karen Halligan: independently, the regional television markets audience were being cut independently,

32
00:01:43,049 –> 00:01:46,199
Karen Halligan: BVOD numbers were being put out independently, but we weren’t

33
00:01:46,199 –> 00:01:49,560
Karen Halligan: looking at consolidated audience viewing. And as you sort of

34
00:01:49,560 –> 00:01:52,770
Karen Halligan: mentioned before, viewing behaviors have changed significantly, so a lot

35
00:01:52,770 –> 00:01:57,329
Karen Halligan: of people are migrating from linear television into BVOD viewing,

36
00:01:57,330 –> 00:02:01,920
Karen Halligan: into different devices, so on their phone through connected televisions

37
00:02:01,920 –> 00:02:05,099
Karen Halligan: or through iPads. So what we’ve done with the changes

38
00:02:05,100 –> 00:02:07,650
Karen Halligan: to the system is we’ve actually aggregated all of that

39
00:02:07,650 –> 00:02:12,298
Karen Halligan: information, looked at when they’re viewing different programs, so again,

40
00:02:12,300 –> 00:02:14,940
Karen Halligan: some people watch it in the moment when it’s on

41
00:02:14,940 –> 00:02:18,150
Karen Halligan: air, particularly things like sport, but when you get to

42
00:02:18,150 –> 00:02:22,320
Karen Halligan: other programs like reality TV or some other programs specifically,

43
00:02:22,619 –> 00:02:24,870
Karen Halligan: then people watch it in catch up time a few

44
00:02:24,870 –> 00:02:28,169
Karen Halligan: days after the initial event. So the new numbers bring

45
00:02:28,169 –> 00:02:30,750
Karen Halligan: all of that together to give a complete picture of

46
00:02:30,750 –> 00:02:34,080
Karen Halligan: what’s actually happening from content from the individual broadcasters and

47
00:02:34,080 –> 00:02:36,988
Karen Halligan: how far that’s actually traveling to reach Australian people.

48
00:02:37,710 –> 00:02:39,899
Sean Aylmer: Is there a sense of how much of the audience

49
00:02:39,929 –> 00:02:44,459
Sean Aylmer: is not real time free to air? So my household, actually, everything

50
00:02:44,460 –> 00:02:46,320
Sean Aylmer: we do is stream, so I don’t have the ability

51
00:02:46,320 –> 00:02:48,840
Sean Aylmer: to flick between channels as I used to, I probably

52
00:02:48,960 –> 00:02:51,450
Sean Aylmer: need to set up my TV, but there it is.

53
00:02:51,660 –> 00:02:54,030
Sean Aylmer: Is there a sense of how much is real time

54
00:02:54,030 –> 00:02:56,639
Sean Aylmer: free to air? So I’m actually watching the TV show

55
00:02:56,639 –> 00:02:59,458
Sean Aylmer: as its first broadcast versus the rest.

56
00:03:00,089 –> 00:03:03,030
Karen Halligan: Look, the way that people consume content is changing all

57
00:03:03,030 –> 00:03:04,919
Karen Halligan: of the time. So the answer to that question is

58
00:03:04,919 –> 00:03:07,200
Karen Halligan: really dependent on what’s going on at that specific point

59
00:03:07,200 –> 00:03:09,329
Karen Halligan: in time. So if you look at things like the Australian

60
00:03:09,330 –> 00:03:12,300
Karen Halligan: Open, which has happened recently, a huge proportion of the

61
00:03:12,300 –> 00:03:15,809
Karen Halligan: population were watching it in real time. So finals and

62
00:03:15,809 –> 00:03:18,359
Karen Halligan: things like that, people will watch less in the catch-

63
00:03:18,359 –> 00:03:22,380
Karen Halligan: up context. When it gets to other programs, that actually

64
00:03:22,380 –> 00:03:25,889
Karen Halligan: changes. So there’s sort of no real set specific measure

65
00:03:25,889 –> 00:03:27,780
Karen Halligan: as to how many people are watching in real time

66
00:03:27,780 –> 00:03:30,120
Karen Halligan: and what the delay is because it does actually change

67
00:03:30,120 –> 00:03:33,000
Karen Halligan: dependent on what the content is at that specific point

68
00:03:33,000 –> 00:03:34,620
Karen Halligan: in time from the broadcasters.

69
00:03:35,039 –> 00:03:37,500
Sean Aylmer: What drove this? Is this coming from the networks or

70
00:03:37,500 –> 00:03:39,840
Sean Aylmer: is this coming from the advertisers wanting better data?

71
00:03:40,410 –> 00:03:43,260
Karen Halligan: Look, I think there’s both of those things that are

72
00:03:43,260 –> 00:03:46,559
Karen Halligan: playing out at the moment. So look, it’s in the interest of

73
00:03:46,559 –> 00:03:49,708
Karen Halligan: the broadcasters, I think that’s been no surprise to anyone.

74
00:03:50,250 –> 00:03:54,570
Karen Halligan: And questions get asked around broadcasters pushing out their numbers, but

75
00:03:54,570 –> 00:03:56,730
Karen Halligan: the reality of the matter is we haven’t actually been

76
00:03:56,730 –> 00:03:59,340
Karen Halligan: giving the complete picture historically. So I think it’s a

77
00:03:59,340 –> 00:04:02,730
Karen Halligan: pretty reasonable sort of approach from the broadcasters to make

78
00:04:02,730 –> 00:04:05,070
Karen Halligan: sure that they’re actually putting out that complete picture moving

79
00:04:05,070 –> 00:04:07,950
Karen Halligan: forward. And as you sort of mentioned, it does drive

80
00:04:07,950 –> 00:04:11,790
Karen Halligan: revenues, it does drive the success of the individual programmings

81
00:04:12,029 –> 00:04:14,640
Karen Halligan: and how they actually commission shows into the future. So

82
00:04:14,640 –> 00:04:18,660
Karen Halligan: from a broadcaster perspective, the data’s incredibly important that it’s

83
00:04:18,660 –> 00:04:22,920
Karen Halligan: accurate and comprehensive and reflects total viewing.
From an advertiser

84
00:04:22,920 –> 00:04:26,400
Karen Halligan: point of view, it’s more important than ever for data-

85
00:04:26,400 –> 00:04:30,719
Karen Halligan: driven marketing to come into play. So advertisers need to

86
00:04:30,779 –> 00:04:33,240
Karen Halligan: pivot the way they spend their money, they need to

87
00:04:33,600 –> 00:04:36,150
Karen Halligan: have a look at how they capture audiences that are

88
00:04:36,180 –> 00:04:39,419
Karen Halligan: fragmenting and consuming media in different ways. So I think

89
00:04:39,420 –> 00:04:42,839
Karen Halligan: it’s equally important for them to make informed decisions as

90
00:04:42,839 –> 00:04:45,269
Karen Halligan: to where people are at any point in time and

91
00:04:45,270 –> 00:04:47,910
Karen Halligan: how best to invest their money when they sit down

92
00:04:47,910 –> 00:04:50,099
Karen Halligan: at the boardroom table with CEOs and CFOs.

93
00:04:51,060 –> 00:04:53,070
Sean Aylmer: Stay with me, Karen, we’ll be back in a minute.

94
00:04:59,339 –> 00:05:03,300
Sean Aylmer: I’m speaking to Karen Halligan, Chief Executive Officer of OzTAM.

95
00:05:04,559 –> 00:05:07,919
Sean Aylmer: I’d imagine this is bringing the network community, I was

96
00:05:07,920 –> 00:05:10,109
Sean Aylmer: going to say to the 21st century, that’s probably a

97
00:05:10,110 –> 00:05:12,870
Sean Aylmer: bit harsh, but again, some of the big tech platforms

98
00:05:12,870 –> 00:05:16,410
Sean Aylmer: who are incredibly data- rich, does this allow the networks

99
00:05:16,410 –> 00:05:19,049
Sean Aylmer: to better compete with that social media crowd?

100
00:05:19,860 –> 00:05:23,159
Karen Halligan: Yeah, look, I think without question, the investment that’s gone

101
00:05:23,160 –> 00:05:25,589
Karen Halligan: into data from the TV networks to actually get this

102
00:05:25,589 –> 00:05:28,830
Karen Halligan: picture is for them to actually be able to compete

103
00:05:28,830 –> 00:05:32,580
Karen Halligan: with the changes in consumer behavior. I think that one

104
00:05:32,580 –> 00:05:35,520
Karen Halligan: of the credits to the television industry is there’s a really rigorous

105
00:05:35,520 –> 00:05:38,969
Karen Halligan: independent approach to measurement and how they actually do that.

106
00:05:38,969 –> 00:05:41,370
Karen Halligan: So we put a lot of time and effort into

107
00:05:41,400 –> 00:05:46,260
Karen Halligan: independent verification of the data and what actually goes into the models

108
00:05:46,260 –> 00:05:48,240
Karen Halligan: and how all of these are born. We do independent

109
00:05:48,240 –> 00:05:51,539
Karen Halligan: audits of how the information’s sort of pulled together. So

110
00:05:51,540 –> 00:05:54,779
Karen Halligan: it’s really important that we have a robust and transparent

111
00:05:54,809 –> 00:05:58,920
Karen Halligan: independent measurement metric for the television industry to justify spend.

112
00:05:58,980 –> 00:06:02,640
Karen Halligan: And does that help the television industry compete with all

113
00:06:02,640 –> 00:06:05,550
Karen Halligan: channels, not just the big tech companies, but other channels?

114
00:06:05,550 –> 00:06:06,690
Karen Halligan: Yeah, it definitely does.

115
00:06:07,080 –> 00:06:10,259
Sean Aylmer: Presumably advertisers can target much better under this system the

116
00:06:10,260 –> 00:06:12,029
Sean Aylmer: customers that they’re trying to reach?

117
00:06:12,330 –> 00:06:15,719
Karen Halligan: Yeah. Yeah, without question. So they’ll get a better understanding

118
00:06:15,719 –> 00:06:19,710
Karen Halligan: of who’s watching, when they’re watching, on what device and

119
00:06:19,710 –> 00:06:21,690
Karen Halligan: at what time. So is it in real time or

120
00:06:21,690 –> 00:06:24,089
Karen Halligan: is it in delay? So that’s definitely beneficial.

121
00:06:24,600 –> 00:06:27,178
Sean Aylmer: So we’re only, well, let’s face it, it only started

122
00:06:27,178 –> 00:06:28,950
Sean Aylmer: this week, so we’re only a few days in, maybe

123
00:06:28,950 –> 00:06:32,400
Sean Aylmer: a bit early for a response so far, but presumably

124
00:06:32,400 –> 00:06:35,250
Sean Aylmer: there’s been a lot of industry consultation before this occurred.

125
00:06:35,520 –> 00:06:38,849
Karen Halligan: Yeah, yeah. So look, I think the response is pretty early

126
00:06:38,850 –> 00:06:43,229
Karen Halligan: days. The television industry have been obviously really embracing of

127
00:06:43,230 –> 00:06:45,839
Karen Halligan: actually getting the true picture out there to their audiences.

128
00:06:46,200 –> 00:06:50,248
Karen Halligan: We’ve worked collaboratively with the Media Federation of Australia that

129
00:06:50,250 –> 00:06:53,309
Karen Halligan: represents all of the advertising agencies who actually invest on

130
00:06:53,309 –> 00:06:56,070
Karen Halligan: behalf of their clients. So we’ve been consulting with them.

131
00:06:56,580 –> 00:06:59,789
Karen Halligan: Worth noting this is the beginning of a year of

132
00:06:59,790 –> 00:07:03,299
Karen Halligan: change for the television industry. So what we’re doing at

133
00:07:03,300 –> 00:07:06,509
Karen Halligan: this initial point is getting people familiar with the numbers

134
00:07:06,509 –> 00:07:08,639
Karen Halligan: over the course of the next 12 months. There’s a

135
00:07:08,639 –> 00:07:12,119
Karen Halligan: whole lot of system upgrades and integrations that are going

136
00:07:12,119 –> 00:07:15,300
Karen Halligan: on within the agency landscape to get clients ready to

137
00:07:15,300 –> 00:07:17,760
Karen Halligan: be able to trade and transact on these new numbers.

138
00:07:18,150 –> 00:07:20,429
Karen Halligan: So it’s kind of a year of evolution for the

139
00:07:20,429 –> 00:07:23,460
Karen Halligan: industry. And then towards the end of the year, we’re

140
00:07:23,460 –> 00:07:26,130
Karen Halligan: rolling out a product called VOD Streaming, which allows clients

141
00:07:26,130 –> 00:07:28,529
Karen Halligan: to get a true picture of reach and frequency across

142
00:07:28,529 –> 00:07:31,470
Karen Halligan: the different broadcasters across one unique platform. And I think

143
00:07:31,470 –> 00:07:34,320
Karen Halligan: that will be really beneficial for advertisers moving forward towards

144
00:07:34,320 –> 00:07:34,950
Karen Halligan: the end of the year.

145
00:07:35,610 –> 00:07:37,560
Sean Aylmer: Okay. So Karen, this time next year, we’re going to

146
00:07:37,560 –> 00:07:39,420
Sean Aylmer: invite you back on to see exactly where you’re up

147
00:07:39,420 –> 00:07:41,549
Sean Aylmer: to. But is the goal that in a year’s time

148
00:07:41,550 –> 00:07:46,080
Sean Aylmer: or so, it’s much easier for media buyers or advertisers

149
00:07:46,080 –> 00:07:49,440
Sean Aylmer: or agencies to find the audience that they want to target?

150
00:07:50,220 –> 00:07:54,000
Karen Halligan: Yeah. Well look, I think ease of transaction and ease

151
00:07:54,000 –> 00:07:58,829
Karen Halligan: of buying of broadcaster inventory is incredibly important to the

152
00:07:58,830 –> 00:08:02,849
Karen Halligan: agency community. And I think in turn also to the

153
00:08:02,849 –> 00:08:07,560
Karen Halligan: marketeers who invest their money, I think historically it’s been

154
00:08:08,070 –> 00:08:11,160
Karen Halligan: quite a process to do sort of television and different

155
00:08:11,640 –> 00:08:14,518
Karen Halligan: buying inventory, it’s been on a journey of improvement and

156
00:08:14,520 –> 00:08:17,759
Karen Halligan: optimization. And without question, we’re going to look at ways

157
00:08:17,759 –> 00:08:21,359
Karen Halligan: to how we can optimize available inventory to advertisers and

158
00:08:21,360 –> 00:08:22,889
Karen Halligan: insights that support that.

159
00:08:23,339 –> 00:08:25,860
Sean Aylmer: Okay. So this is obviously a first in Australia, what about the

160
00:08:25,860 –> 00:08:28,410
Sean Aylmer: rest of the world? Are they on this journey too?

161
00:08:28,410 –> 00:08:30,990
Sean Aylmer: I’m sure they’re on the journey, are they further advanced

162
00:08:30,990 –> 00:08:31,200
Sean Aylmer: than we are?

163
00:08:31,200 –> 00:08:35,339
Karen Halligan: Yeah. No, look, I think it’s a great question, Sean.

164
00:08:36,059 –> 00:08:39,059
Karen Halligan: Some of our team, the OzTAM team, went over to the Global Measurement

165
00:08:39,059 –> 00:08:43,230
Karen Halligan: Conference. That is actually a real thing that actually happens.

166
00:08:44,280 –> 00:08:46,858
Karen Halligan: And at that conference, the feedback was that we were

167
00:08:46,860 –> 00:08:51,150
Karen Halligan: the envy of many countries. Everyone is on the journey.

168
00:08:51,150 –> 00:08:54,360
Karen Halligan: There are different statuses in different markets. So I think

169
00:08:54,360 –> 00:08:57,389
Karen Halligan: in the US, they’ve got a much more fragmented currency

170
00:08:57,389 –> 00:09:00,569
Karen Halligan: set up with different people trading off their own currencies

171
00:09:00,570 –> 00:09:04,470
Karen Halligan: or variations. Other countries are also in the process of

172
00:09:04,470 –> 00:09:08,160
Karen Halligan: providing consolidated numbers across BVOD and television. But to my

173
00:09:08,160 –> 00:09:11,159
Karen Halligan: understanding, and we have been told this at that conference

174
00:09:11,160 –> 00:09:13,530
Karen Halligan: and more recently, we are the first country to be able to

175
00:09:13,530 –> 00:09:18,570
Karen Halligan: provide consolidated overnight complete ratings at a national level with

176
00:09:18,570 –> 00:09:21,720
Karen Halligan: BVOD included. So we are leading the way in this territory.

177
00:09:22,200 –> 00:09:24,360
Sean Aylmer: Good luck with that, Karen, and thank you for talking

178
00:09:24,360 –> 00:09:25,290
Sean Aylmer: to Fear and Greed.

179
00:09:25,830 –> 00:09:28,049
Karen Halligan: No problem. Thank you very much. Thanks for your time.

180
00:09:28,380 –> 00:09:31,139
Sean Aylmer: That was Karen Halligan, CEO of OzTAM. This is the

181
00:09:31,139 –> 00:09:33,570
Sean Aylmer: Fear and Greed Business Interview. Join us every morning for

182
00:09:33,570 –> 00:09:35,968
Sean Aylmer: the full episode of Fear and Greed, Australia’s best business

183
00:09:35,969 –> 00:09:38,699
Sean Aylmer: podcast. I’m Sean Aylmer, enjoy your day.