Audiences, advertisers and arithmetic: "‘We need to fix commercial measurement"

From left: Kate Bulkley, John Litster, Matt Hill, Rich Astley, Sarah Rose and Justin Sampson. Inset: The Little Drummer Girl (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian/Shutterstock/BBC)

Television is trying to keep advertisers happy and out of the clutches of its online competitors. But, with the growth of streaming services such as Netflix, totting up who watches TV, and when and where, is becoming a complicated business.

This is the key data that advertisers want and which ratings body Barb is doing its utmost to provide, according to CEO Justin Sampson. He was part of a panel at an RTS early-evening event that drew a capacity crowd to The Hospital Club in late October.

Tracking TV: Is this the end of the overnight sensation?

Ever since TV technology made it possible to measure overnight ­ratings, there have been some in the industry who wish it hadn’t. Programme controllers and advertisers have been accused of not giving new dramas or comedies or entertainment formats enough time to establish themselves. Journalists are blamed for rushing to judgement with headline-­grabbing claims that can damage a programme’s prospects.

Why big data is changing TV

Big data, with Netflix at the forefront, is transforming the way that TV is commissioned and watched, but not as radically or quickly as many in the broadcasting industry believe. Its impact, for the moment, remains most keenly felt in advertising.

This was the conclusion of a sold-out RTS early-evening event, “Big data or smart data? Data and the impact on TV advertising, commissioning and content”. Chaired by the former BBC Media Correspondent Torin Douglas, the RTS panel – composed of both broadcasting and advertising experts – explained the appeal of big data.

TV in 2020: All roads lead to content, say experts

Adam Crozier, David Abraham, Lorraine Heggessey, Tom Mockridge and Tony Hall (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

It was time to take stock. After three days of intense and stimulating debate, Lorraine Heggessey corralled some of broadcasting’s big beasts onstage to chew the fat at the final session of Cambridge 2015. Was television heading for Happy Valley or was the House of Cards about to collapse?