Discovery Communications and its European sports arm Eurosport will track viewership of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games using a trio of new metrics it says will provide a more complete picture of the Games as it measures audience behavior across Europe.
Discovery’s Eurosport secured European rights to the Olympic Games from 2018-2024 in 2015. Its first airing will commence with the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang beginning Feb. 8. Earlier this week Discovery announced that it also is offering coverage of the Winter Games in virtual reality.
The three new metrics together will capture what it calls ‘Total Video’ – the new ‘TV’—across free-to-air, pay TV, online and social platforms for the company’s own platforms and those of all its partners – on tablets, mobile or traditional television screens. The new metrics are:
Video: The number of videos viewed and the volume of viewing expressed in hours across Discovery’s owned and operated platforms, including free-to-air, pay TV, streaming services, digital, apps and social media, in addition to traditional audience data from its broadcast partners throughout Europe.
Users: The sum of total users across Discovery’s owned and operated platforms, including free-to-air, pay TV, streaming services, digital, apps and social media, in addition to traditional audience data from its broadcast partners throughout Europe.
Engagement: The number of likes, shares and comments across all of Discovery’s digital and social media properties, covering all platforms.
“Discovery is proud to partner with the IOC and Publicis in modernizing media consumption measurement to better understand audience behavior in the digital era,” Discovery Networks International CEO Jean-Briac Perrette said in a statement. “Clearly the way people consume content and particularly big events has evolved, which is why we need to bolster traditional measurement methods and expand the metrics of television to capture Total Video – the new TV.
“The Olympic Games is the biggest event in the world and therefore is the best testing ground for studying video consumption,” he continued. “We are committed to delivering the ultimate viewing experience for audiences across Europe, enabling them to enjoy every minute of the action from PyeongChang 2018, whenever and on whatever device they choose to watch it.”
Discovery has partnered with Publicis Media’s Sport and Entertainment division to design the approach for and calculate de-duplicated and unique reach through a post-Games survey measuring people’s consumption of the Olympic Winter Games across multiple screens and platforms, without double counting of people.
“Publicis Media is excited to have developed this unique audience reach methodology with Discovery and is delighted that the IOC supports its deployment for the Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang,” Publicis Media Sports & Entertainment research & evaluation global lead Chris Jones said in a statement. It neatly meshes data from different sources. Importantly, official audited data from television and online measurement systems are at the heart of the calculation but clever use of survey research allows us to understand the cross-over in people who connect with the Games via both television and digital/social platforms meaning we can remove any double counting and determine the true pan-European audience reach of an event for the first time.”
CCS Insight vice president of multiplay and media Paolo Pescatore called the move a significant step forward in the measurement industry.
“We have seen numerous attempts to enhance traditional measurement techniques which until today, have been inaccurate and wholly insufficient,” Pescatore said in a statement. “Discovery’s plan for capturing Total Video viewing across all platforms represents a bold new statement of intent to lead the industry. We also believe that using the Olympic Winter Games as a starting point, through a dedicated mix of capturing total Video, Engagement and Users, is a hugely powerful example of what the methodology is capable of, highlighting what will be a more accurate representation of all consumer engagement with premium video content.”
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