1 Getting to know Auditel How the survey which measures the television audience in Italy works. Overview: structure of the Company, methodology, technology, panel and data distribution.
2 An assurance of clarity In terms of the scope of its offer and composition (national networks and local broadcasters, thematic, satellite, terrestrial and digital channels) the Italian television system is evolving towards an increasingly complex reality. In such a fiercely competitive context, it is necessary to have reliable data regarding audiences, obtained by advanced technology and products and correct methodology, chosen and rigorously controlled by all the players in the market. Every day, this information is used to plan investments in advertising and to make editorial programme choices so that the monitoring authorities can be sure that high standards are maintained. That is why Auditel provides a stringent, structured and transparent audit that ensures clarity for all concerned.
3 The formula Auditel is a totally independent and impartial company that measures television audiences in Italy on a national and regional level through the various broadcasting modes. A tripartite cross-referenced system Right from its foundation in July 1984, in order to fulfil its mission, Auditel, a consortium-based company, created its own balanced internal, administrative and organisational structures, through a formula of reciprocal control and responsibilities. In accordance with the most advanced policies of the European Community, Auditel established itself as a tripartite system, i.e. a company that harmoniously represents the three fundamental market members: public television (RAI), private broadcasters (Networks and national and local stations), advertisers (UPA), "Media Centres" and Agencies (AssoComunicazione and UNICOM). This structure that constitutes a basic physiological guarantee of impartiality is reflected in the composition of its Board of Directors and Technical Committee, the technical-scientific consultancy body that follows and monitors every stage of the system s development, right from its birth, according to the internationally recognised Joint Industry Committee model. RAI PRIVATE TV stations USERS and Agencies FIEG MAJOR COMPONENTS
4 Governance In compliance with the recent policies expressed by the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Cominicazioni (Regulatory Authority for Communications), in its Shareholders Meeting of 15th December 2006 Auditel approved new Articles of Association expressing the Company on-going commitment to representing the complexity of the communication world throughout its development. This new document contains many key points regarding the principles at the basis of the Company s activity. These include: Expansion of the Board of Directors Article 12 states that, in addition to the 21 board members voted by Shareholders, a further 5 board members can be nominated for the explicit purpose of expanding the powers of representation of the board even on the suggestion, opinion or recommendation of the AGCOM (Italian Communication Authority) The Authority may have one or more of its own representatives on the Board to exercise direct control over the Company s work. Its presence will also enable control of an otherwise unmanageable enlargement to those many subjects who could ask to be heard in this body. Meanwhile, upon the raccomandetion of the November Board meeting, Auditel Shareholders appointed three additional directors (two belonging to UPA and one to Assap). In this way, Advertisers and AdAgency and have a number of directors greater than the sum of those designated by the major television components. Technical Committee Article 19 of the Articles of Association states that in addition to the 17 board members voted by Shareholders, others may also be nominated for the explicit purpose of expanding the powers of representation of the technical committee even on the suggestion, opinion or recommendation of the AGCOM. SKY Italia has been operating since 2003 as a permanent member. Self-reform All matter of Auditel governance is the constant subject of attention by the Directors who have long follow the trendline of including as much players as possible on the Reasearch table. Obviously, every main change of the Articole of Partenership must go througt the directors screening and needs to be approved by Auditel Shareholders.
5 Principles of openness Further articles of the Articles of Association are also dedicated to the values indicated by the Regulatory Authority: Article 1 States that Auditel intends fostering the use of its own services by all television stations operating in Italy, and the circulation of its own data according to principles of impartiality and equal conditions irrespective of whether the users of the services and data participate directly or indirectly in the company; the fees paid by the various categories of users must be calculated according to principles of impartiality and equal conditions; the company has mutualistic objectives, i.e. Shareholders have decided that the economic result should be subject to achievement of the corporate purpose. Article 5 Increases in corporate capital must be reserved to third parties. The aim of this provision is explicitly to allow the possibility of expanding the company structure accepting, in particular, subjects operating in the TV or advertising sectors or that protect collective interests and allow the representation powers of the Company to grow. Article 11 In full observance of Italian and European competition laws, under no circumstances must Shareholder obligations, include the obligation to use data produced by the Company. This principle, stated again herein, was already present in the market situation. In fact, far from being monopolistic of fact (as someone has maintained) over the years Auditel has seen its own data compared with those produced by other quantitative and, all the more so, qualitative surveys.
6 How our survey works Based on rigorous statistical methods, Auditel has set up a panel of families selected to represent the Italian population as a whole (all Italians over 4 years of age, registered as residents in Italy). The sample was chosen at random. Its structure guarantees that a wide range of geographic, demographic and socio-cultural characteristics are represented. For such parameters, the panel s composition reflects the proportions found in the reference universe. Auditel guarantees that the structure of the population is correctly represented by using a wide panel size (composed of around 14,000 people) and by adopting a weighting by cell system according to which the total of the expansion factors of each individual coincides with the universe of various groups of the individual population (more than 200 groups) and, obviously, with the total of the considered population. Audience figures are collected automatically by means of an electronic meter (people-meter) linked to each TV set in the sample home. Every day the meter measures, minute by minute, the audience of every channel on every TV set switched on in the home. Auditel has adopted the same method as is used all over the world for measuring television audiences in the most advanced countries. In fact, the people meter is the most advanced instrument for measuring the type of fragmented audience generated by the many channels (regional, satellite, digital, etc.) and by zapping usage. Keeping track of these viewer movements with a diary or a phone interview would expose the survey to significant omissions that would jeopardise broadcasters with the smallest audiences. Nothing is lost with the meter that automatically records every change of channel.
7 Representing TV Italy Establishing survey The principles of the statistical project on which Auditel is based are composed of the so-called Establishing surveys : an on-going series of general surveys carried out on Italian families that feed a large database with 9 monthly measurements. After an initial survey conducted on a sample of 41,000 families (at the beginning of the project) the survey is repeated every year on a large number of cases, interviewing samples that have currently reached as many as 24,000 families. In this way universalistic estimates can be made of the characteristics of Italian families in particular with regard to ownership of TV sets and other entertainment equipment (video-recorders, satellite links, digital terrestrial and cable TV, DVD players, Pay-TV, etc.), and also PC, Tablet, Smartphone. Most important of all, the panel recruitment for the meterised households is drawn from the establishing survey repository (source of addresses). Auditel s annual establishing survey carried out by IPSOS is the most important photograph of the television phenomenon that is made in Italy, in terms of sample sizes and dispersion (the sample covers more than 1317 municipalities), the detailed nature of the collected information and the validity of the interview method (face-to-face, not telephonic or CAPI assisted). In compliance with the indications given by the Authority, the sample is drawn from electoral lists. Auditel s annual establishing survey has the objective of identifying the descriptive characteristics of the Italian TV-users population and comprises 20,000 randomly sampled interviews divided in seven monthly vawes. Additional 4000 interviews are included to the panel meter. The latter interviews, implemented using a random walking technique, target families with specific characteristics and foreign residents. Auditel s basic survey stage employs a stratified random sample that draws households to interview from a proprietary list of addresses. The list is generated combining information on addresses and households extracted from the real-estate registry of the Land Agency, with information from street maps, for those municipalities not included in such registry. Moreover, the home interview is the only tool that allows an undistorted estimate to be made of complex penetration phenomena, either because special technical knowledge is required or because access to the TV set in the family is needed. Questionnaires are an indispensable tool for selecting the sample and its subsequent evaluation. In fact, the structural characteristics of the population represented by Auditel are partially obtained from information provided by ISTAT and partially estimated through the basic survey.
8 The panel Households participating in the panel, foreign ones included, are chosen through a complex procedure designed to ensure the randomness of selection. As we have seen, all names come from the Regular Establishing Surveys database. With regard to foreign residents a basic survey is also carried out on gathering places, more than interviews have been made. The composition and assessment system of the resulting sample allows correct representation of the reference group that is wider than the one from which it is drawn. This representativeness is based on a system of recruitment cells containing geographic variables (area and town size), structural characteristics of households (age of the head of the family and number of members), their pool of television equipment (number of TV sets owned), and on a double expansion system (one for family data and one for individual data) characterised by a pre-expansion by cells and by a subsequent marginal inter-active weighting". The expansion method guarantees deeper representation, both of the geographical dimension (as far as the provinces, for individual expansion) and of demographic and social characteristics (age brackets by sex, level of education, etc.). This is a system of micro-representation that exercises a very important antidistortion function. The sample is spread over the 103 Italian provinces in a way that is proportional to the population (except for the provinces of Aosta and Cagliari where institutional requirements to monitor tests on DTT arose). Due to the territorial dispersion of the panel around 2090 of the 8100 Italian municipalities are covered.
9 Turn over As we have seen, TV audiences are measured using a panel, i.e. a constantly-measured sample. Around 20% of this panel is substituted every year: there are three reasons for this turn over : to replace households that no longer wish to participate; to keep the sample allocation up-to-date at all times with respect to the changes in the population it represents; to prevent the survey from becoming a habit due to overprolonged periods of participation. Auditel adopts strict procedures to protect the anonymity of families belonging to the panel as much as possible. This ensures that it is impossible to influence their conduct artificially and that measuring is carried out correctly.
10 Super Panel Despite the solidity of the system we have just described, Auditel Board of Directors approved the implementation of a Super-Panel on June 5, families provided of meters will be added to the panel number. The panel will triple by 2016 reaching a numer of household over In a situation of economic crisis and frozen investment like the current one, this is a great and courageous plan which aims to confirm the vital importance of Research and to improve knowledge and estimates of the increasing numbers of TV stations and consequent audience fragmentation. No other Country has such big panel.
11 Panel numbers Auditel has been operating since December 1986 and keeps growing ever since. Currently around households are involved frequency identification units on as many television sets identify the choices made by almost individuals at all times of the day. Viewing choices and methods that do not escape the attention of last generation meters that can monitor old and new technologies including satellite and digital terrestrial and also work to find new mode of use. The widening of the panel resulted from the need to monitor the local stations, the digital transition and other niche television forms, considering their statistical visibility problems. In this way, advertising analysts have been able to construct plans to improve quality (i.e. to work with a lower estimate error on minor targets). At the current state, the television survey sample composing Auditel s Italian panel is one of the strongest in the world (population/meter ratio) and is among those that invest major resources in monitoring activities.
12 The Meter system An electronic device called a people-meter that automatically records the channel, to which the television set is tuned, is delivered to each participating household. Through a constant technological innovation we have now the third generation of meter, a multiprocessor equipment easy to install and connected though GSM.UNITAM Meters are the currently in use and completely rely on audio matching. They are able to record all the digital audio tracks on the selected households, and converge those tracks on the enormous National programs database, and fed by digital measuring stations called reference rooms. Those kinds of Meters guarantee to monitor all the new television technologies: DTT, digital satellite, and cable TV live on air or recorded. UNITAM system makes use of a very versatile technology called Content Tracking System (CTS) Schematically, the new meter is composed of three main units. Combox (or calling device) Meter (pick up information unit) Remote (to select the program to watch) This new device is very different from the previous ones, not only it uses distinct detection technology but also it is considered a calling meter instead of a called meter and this brings many benefits, first of all the households do not need to be disturbed in case of a device failure. Collected informations go through a digitalization and compression process and then sent to the headquarters overnight, between 2 and 5 am (polling), here the informations are processed and then spread at 10 am. The currently used Meters are made by Nielsen T.A.M, the company in charge of the survey, and they go through a constant innovation process described below.
13 Research and development Since the first 4900 model to date, Auditel s history in terms of the meter s technical development has been focused on on-going innovation and resulting substitutions. The TVM2 the technologically advanced meter that was adopted in the doubling operation was already considered to be a great step forward: it was a modular system that could be used to monitor (through interfaces) the new TV broadcasting methods, fitted with a strong flash memory and new management software. Currently, all installed meters observe strict European regulations regarding electro-magnetic radiation, are able to monitor new TV sets in a non-invasive manner, record the use of the video-recorder, are compatible with play stations, and, as we will see, are designed to respond to a concept of universality and independence regarding the Survey. The digital turning point. After a series of studies and experiments, aimed, amongst other things, at measuring the satellite and digital terrestrial television, the Technical Committee and scientific consultants reached an important technological turning point in the survey, first of all by adopting the new generation meter called the TVM4 and then by adopting a completely innovative solution (digitalised audio matching) converting the system to the latest new meters called UNITAMS. In both cases, these were multi-processors, very easy to install, non-invasive, designed for GSM connections. While the TVM4 could have been interfaced for the comparison of tracks obtained from digital signals, the UNITAM meters are, since they have been created, fully designed to collect from the sample households all digitalised sound tracks produced by viewers. These are sent to the huge database of the programs broadcast all over Italy fed by special digital measuring stations (reference rooms).
14 A meter for all TV sources Following the installation of the new meters, (since January 2002) Auditel has been able to measure satellite television audiences. And not only this: with the renewal of the fleet of meters, Auditel is able to monitor all new TV technologies, both present and future ones, and is already working on the gradual switch from analogical to digital terrestrial television. Total conversion of technologies in use has been underway through the adoption of the UNITAM meter. Adopting an innovative audio matching system where the channel is recognised through the comparison of digitalised sound tracks, these carry out a totally independent measurement of audiences from broadcasters. As we have seen above, for each broadcaster, special collection stations measure the broadcasts of the whole day creating a digitalised Data Base (reference) that will be compared with the individual sound tracks (sample) gathered from the sample households according to the programs they watch. In this way, the channel/station into which the monitored TVs are tuned are accurately established. The new UNITAM meter is installed immediately in every household in the sample in possession of digital technologies (terrestrial digital, satellite, PVR, cable, etc.). This updating takes place every day - continuously enabling the Auditel Survey to cover all the various sources of broadcast signal. Finally, an extremely reliable alternative - also used at international level (for example in the United Kingdom) - allows the meter to obtain S.I. (Service Information allowing the recognition of all broadcast programmes) directly from the decoder, drawing it from the serial port. This is what currently happens for the decoders of SKY subscribers.
15 The future is on air Auditel is heading, step by step, into the future. The Technical Committee have outlined a roadmap of technical and methodological innovations in the Research field. Besides having acquired the official data of time shifted viewing audience and after having included households without TV devices, Auditel have completed a complex survey to include on the panel families with at least one foreign member. This is the first attempt to estimate the TV consumption by different ethnic groups that have been done in Italy. Auditel has an Innovation Agenda which aims to pursue the changes that are happening in the behaviours of the viewers who tend to enjoy television content on TV device but also on internet and elsewhere. The Extended screen project has allowed inserting a virtual meter on PCs and, soon, it will be extended to tablets, Smartphone and TV on demand.
16 Data production The data recorded by the meters are collected and validated by means of sophisticated control and analysis procedures. After a special process, each individual is examined and its "expansion factor" is calculated. This weighting operation takes into account all the demographic and social variables that are arranged in a complex mosaic of statistical cells and allows Auditel to arrive at a correct representation of television viewers choices throughout the country. Further details about the validation, expansion, pre-expansion and rim weighting systems can be obtained from the website in the section containing Auditel INFORMATION NOTES. Viewer definition During data processing, the raw information, organised into hours, minutes and seconds, is rounded up or down to the minute. To be considered a viewer in any particular minute a viewer must be present for least 30 seconds of that minute. Guests Auditel audiences include any guests, up to 8, who may be present in front of the television set. Holidays Panel members who are away from home for a few days transmit information to the meter by means of a special button. No viewing for several days triggers a check by the central data station. Cross-referenced data Simple viewing data are cross-referenced with the segments in which the TV day is divided, i.e. with editorial events (programs breaks) that do not contain advertising (adverts, viewing invitations, promotions, sponsorships, etc.). In this way a reading that describes the history of a TV day (title, type, date, time, duration, etc.) can be given. Software houses and media planners will be responsible for carrying out more specific sophisticated analyses.
17 The TV day Auditel s television day starts at 2 am and continues until 1.59 am on the following day (timetable technically called 25.59). It is divided into 7 standard time brackets: (early evening) (prime-time) (1.59) (late evening) The week and months Conventionally, the week considered by Auditel data starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday (inclusive). This rule also applies to the formation of the monthly calendar. The year The year considered by the audience data is not necessarily the same as the calendar year: in fact, it starts on the first Sunday nearest to 1 st January. What is measured TV audiences, minute by minute, referring to programs, breaks and advertisements transmitted by national and local stations in Italy. Guest audiences. All broadcasting methods: terrestrial, satellite, digital terrestrial. Family audiences, understood as a nucleus of people living under one roof and with the head of the family resident in Italy. Audiences of individuals if they are in the room where the TV set is situated and if they are actually watching the television (including the use of televideo/teletext) What isn t measured Viewing outside the main home. Viewing of children under the age of 4. Viewing of Italian stations in other Countries. Viewing of collective groups
18 Digital TV In 2000, Auditel started to monitor the penetration of satellite television, not only through its large-scale Regular Establishing Survey but also through fluctuation in its own active sample. In fact, since it was representative of all the various kinds of television usage (national terrestrial, local, satellite, etc.), the panel adapted itself, in time, to the actual spread of receivers and top box satellite sets in households, spontaneously following their trends. It is important to say that SKY Italy agreed to have its subscriber s number certified by Deloitte and Touch auditing company. We have seen how the new meters are able to monitor digital, satellite and terrestrial TV through audio matching. Finally, an extremely reliable alternative - also used at international level (for example in the United Kingdom) - allows the meter to obtain S.I. (Service Information allowing the recognition of all broadcast programmes) directly from the decoder, drawing it from the serial port. This is what currently happens for the decoders of SKY subscribers. Panel control Thanks to the new basic survey that makes nine monthly updates of the penetration of different sources, the monitoring and weighting system of the Auditel sample has been refined to fix the universes of the different platforms and to update them more frequently (currently every month till the total DTT switch off in the different Italian regions) with the aim of following their development dynamics. Panel control logic was introduced, i.e. a procedure to recruit households that also includes the broadcasting platform amongst the other variables. The new weighting system takes into account the penetration of the different broadcasting platforms both at household and individual level.
19 A global observatory Auditel does not exclude any subject from its own observatory. Each group or individual TV station that makes a request can be measured by Auditel, subject to examination of the penetration of its own signal over the territory (for obvious reasons of statistical reliability). Thanks to an advanced system, our Survey is able to see the audience of every television subject in a fair way, but cannot publish its results unless it has received prior authorisation from the station. This line is dictated by full observance of free entrepreneurial choice. In compliance with its own service mission aimed at planning the TV advertising of companies, with the same number of programs being offered at the same time, Auditel does not make a distinction between broadcasting from an analogue, satellite, terrestrial digital etc. source but adds up the audiences recorded from every individual network/channel operating in multi-platform simulcasting conditions, i.e. with different simultaneous broadcasting modes. In its own standard layouts, Auditel inserts subtotals that group together by Editor the audiences they obtain from the individual networks it owns. For example: RAI1, RAI2, RAI3, RAI NEWS24, RAI EDU, RAI UTILE, RAI SAT GAMBERO ROSSO, etc..= RAI TOTAL and so forth.
20 Definition in use A.M. - ASCOLTO MEDIO: AVERAGE AUDIENCE The sum of viewers of each minute of a programme divided by the total minutes of the same programme period. % SH - PERCENTUALE SHARE D'ASCOLTO Percentage of the viewing of a defined programme on total viewing (all channels) in the same period. % PE - PENETRAZIONE: RATING Percentage of the viewing of a defined programme on total population of the target. CO - CONTATTI NETTI: REACH (or net coverage) Number of different people which have viewed for at least one minute of a programme. MV - MINUTI VISTI: FREQUENCY OF VIEWING The average minutes that have been viewed on the total duration of a programme. % PR - PERMANENZA FIDELITY (loyalty) Ratio between average viewing and reach expressed in percentage.
21 Controls and reliability Auditel is, by its constitutive nature, subject to continuous monitoring of its activity. It is in fact a cross-check of interests in constant competition. Each phase of the construction and development of the project passed through the Technical Committee and the approval of Board of Directors. Every aspect of the collection and production has been tested and still is with regularity. Auditel s strong reliability is assessed, verified and certified by esteemed University departments and professors and by Auditing Agencies. So, the controls Auditel is subjected to, aim to guarantee the right behaviours of all the actors involved the efficiency of the tools in use and the correct execution of all the process phases. Verification and certification cover all electronic equipment, the statistical methodology, software production, basic survey, panel behaviours, efficiency of costumer care, anti intrusion security measures, and more.
22 Measurement of time shifted viewing data Starting from May, the 1 st, 2011, time shifted viewing data is online. This data refers to the reassignment of the audience of a program which has been recorded and then viewed after its broadcasting (both on the same day and up to 7 days after the on air ). After a long period of testing (tests of the Technical Committee and Certification carried out by an Auditing Company), Auditel made a further step in the research evolution by deciding to measure and publish - in addition to the normal live audience recorded in its different broadcasting forms (analogic, digital, satellite)- also the results obtained by a new modality of television consumption, that is the choice of viewing recorded contents using either an external medium (DVD, USB, VHS) or the device internal memory (PVR, DVR) as in the case, for example, of innovative platforms such as MY SKY or Mediaset PREMIUM NET TV. The playback of previously recorded contents can be performed as follows: during the same day. In this case, it is called VOSDAL (Viewing of the Same Day as Live); or in the following days: when the real TSV (Time Shifted Viewing) is performed. This form of viewing will be connected to the live event broadcast within the consolidation range (time period during which the research is carried out). PUBLISHING RULES The rules shared for data production imply the following: The daily data published will be the data derived from the sum of live + vosdal viewing data while all monthly reports will contain the consolidated data as the sum of live + vosdal + time shifted viewing" data; The elementary data will contain all the details and will allow for a separate analysis of live, vosdal and time shifted activities. Auditel charged the with the task of checking with all the parts the time lapse after the live broadcasting- which will need to be taken into consideration for the measurement of time-shifted viewing for commercial purposes.
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