OzTAM strives to provide a robust, credible and independent data service that both reflects actual viewing in Australian television households and meets client needs.
Towards that goal, OzTAM consults continually and widely across the industry.
As part of OzTAM’s formal governance processes and commitment to transparency, the ABC and SBS television networks, Media Federation of Australia (MFA), Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and Australian Subscription Television & Radio Association (ASTRA) have observer status at OzTAM board meetings.
OzTAM also has a Technical Advisory Committee, or TAC, comprising representatives from across the media industry. The committee meets regularly and is a forum where technical issues regarding the performance, development and design of the ratings service are discussed with a focus on continuous improvement.
OzTAM retains an independent technical auditor whose role is to ensure the panels perform to specification.
All the television broadcasters and all OzTAM data subscribers have access to the same ratings data, which is independently collected and produced by an external research supplier on OzTAM's behalf.
OzTAM’s culture of continual service improvement has been in place since launch, when a number of enhancements to the pre-2001 service were introduced.
OzTAM’s panel size was increased to 3,000 (425 homes larger than previously). A further 35 homes were added in 2004, and another 465 in 2012, taking the metro panel to 3,500 homes, and OzTAM's national subscription television (STV) panel to 1,413 homes.
In terms of sample size relative to the population represented, OzTAM’s panel is among the world’s largest. In 2017, OzTAM's metro and national STV panels are expanding by 50 per cent to 5,250 and 2,120 homes, respectively, further refining OzTAM ratings estimates as Australia's population grows and people continue to spread their viewing across new channels.
OzTAM also introduced the Gold Standard software accreditation system, paving the way for a range of third party (independent) ratings analysis software providers to enter the market. This gives clients a choice of software options, whereas previously elemental data had only been available in one proprietary system.
These and other service enhancements – such as the introduction of Time Shift Viewing in 2010 (capturing playback viewing through the TV set up to seven days after the original broadcast, expanded to 28 days in 2016), and the launch of its Video Player Measurement (VPM) Report in February 2016 – stem from extensive industry consultation and collaboration to ensure OzTAM remains relevant and accountable.