BBM has three initiatives underway:
- BBM started a test last August to determine whether or not the PPM radio meter panel can support Internet streaming measurement (i.e., separating Internet streaming from live broadcast currently reported together) and to look into the volume of Internet streaming usage by radio broadcaster audiences.
Twenty-two Toronto member stations started participating in a test late last summer, separately encoding their online radio stream. Now, 25 Toronto radio stations are encoding both their terrestrial and streaming programming.
Then, in November eighteen stations in Vancouver Central (Metro) Area were added to the test and as of December, sixteen stations have participated in Montreal Central (Franco and Anglo).
Individual station-level data have been presented to all participating broadcasters in each market by BBM, but the data is not yet currency for public release.
However, the early headline is quite promising, boding well for the future.
The combination of over the air PPM usage average minute audience and encoded streaming appears to increase radio's total week 12+ audience by about 3%. OF course, there is great variability in online streaming between stations.
BBM told its member stations this week that overall the highest percentage of online listening occurs during the workday at 5%.
- The second initiative is to report radio tuning and television viewing in a single database.
BBM’s Cross Media Database was tested in the past few months, and will be released in May with data back to September 2013. Quarterly releases will occur until August, and then Cross Media will be released monthly.
Cross Media Data is not currency as it is based on Central Areas, and Television currency is based on Extended Markets, but this single source data should have many other uses. Data will be at the respondent level so users will have a lot of flexibility looking at tuning between radio and television from the same sample.
- The third initiative, Non Linear Measurement, is in a proof of concept test. This is designed to report media that is accessed from servers. The initial test is for Video on Demand, but this technology to extend PPM to user-controlled access will have many other uses in radio and television. Television broadcasters have installed the software based encoders and will insert the PPM codes as the material is loaded to their servers. Data should be available for industry assessment mid-2014. BBM is the only measurement organization able to measure Non Linear consumption in its panel. BBM already reports all live streaming, so addition of non-linear will give users a full view of consumption of their programming regardless of the platform.
Organizations south of the 49th parallel working in this same area have a lot to learn from our Canadian friends right now.