About OzTAM

About OzTAM

OzTAM is Australia's official source of television audience measurement, covering broadcast free-to-air viewing in the five mainland metropolitan markets; subscription television nationally; and BVOD viewing on connected devices throughout Australia. 

OzTAM audience estimates for broadcast TV (TAM), BVOD (VPM) and Total TV (VOZ) are the accepted metric by which Australian television is evaluated. OzTAM owns and holds the copyright for the data it delivers.

The media industry uses OzTAM data to understand viewer behaviour, assist in program development and advertising planning, and gauge the performance of television programs, broadcasters and advertising campaigns. 

OzTAM strives to deliver a world class all-screen audience measurement service and develop new tools and data that allow broadcasters to maximise their audiences, and advertisers to reach them.

OzTAM's in-home TV audience panels provide minute-by-minute viewing data – 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days each year – for more than 100 channels (free-to-air and subscription) across dozens of demographic variables. Nielsen TAM is OzTAM’s ratings service provider.

OzTAM's Video Player Measurement (VPM) service, launched in February 2016, provides Australia's official figures for viewing of internet-delivered TV content ('BVOD').

OzTAM, in collaboration with Regional TAM and Nielsen, introduced Australia's new Total TV reporting standard, Virtual Australia ('VOZ'), in 2021. VOZ brings together broadcast viewing on TV sets and connected devices to provide all-screen, cross-platform planning and reporting for Australia's television industry. VOZ offers the first de-duplicated audience estimates of the broadcast content Australians are watching, who is watching, the amount of time they spend watching, and how they are watching ('Total TV').

OzTAM Pty Limited is an independent company owned by Australia’s major commercial television broadcasters (the Seven Network, Nine Network and Network 10). OzTAM operates separately and independently from all broadcasters and has an independent, non-executive chairman. OzTAM also has an external technical auditor whose role is to ensure OzTAM's panels perform to specification. OzTAM's Technical Advisory Committee, comprising representatives from across the media industry, 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.

The ABC and SBS television networks, Foxtel, Media Federation of Australia (MFA), and Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA), have observer status at OzTAM board meetings.

OzTAM’s history

OzTAM was established in 1999 to take on the management and marketing of television audience ratings in Australia’s five mainland capital cities from the start of the 2001 ratings year, when the contract with the previous ratings service provider, AC Nielsen, concluded.

OzTAM’s three shareholders – the Seven Network, Nine Network and Network Ten (now Network 10) – put a new seven-year ratings contract (that would span 2001-2007) to international tender. It was won by ATR Australia, a subsidiary of the Italy-based AGB Group.

Upon launching OzTAM reported ratings for five free-to-air (FTA) channels: ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine and Ten.

Since that time OzTAM’s service has steadily expanded to reflect the evolving television landscape, new technologies and changing audience behaviour.

In April 2003, OzTAM contracted ATR Australia to provide TAM services for the National Subscription Television (STV) service and Australian STV channel ratings data became available in August of that year. (Following Nielsen’s acquisition of AGB, OzTAM’s ratings service provider was renamed Nielsen TAM.)

The initial OzTAM panel, based on 3,000 homes equipped with people meters in the metro markets (which was an increase of 425 homes on the previous service), began supplying data to OzTAM on 1 January, 2001. A further 35 homes were added to the metro panel in 2004, and in 2012 another 465, taking it to 3,500 homes. At that point OzTAM’s sample was already among the world’s largest relative to the population represented. In May 2017 OzTAM's panels expanded by a further 50 per cent, taking the metro panel to 5,250 homes and its STV panel to 2,120. With Regional TAM also expanding its own panel, Australia is among the world's largest per capita people metered markets. 

OzTAM began measuring digital terrestrial television (DTT) in 2005 and began reporting the free-to-air broadcasters' DTT-only channels from 2008, when they introduced unique content.

OzTAM now measures and reports viewing to more than 100 channels and BVOD streaming services, both FTA and STV.

At the start of the 2010 ratings year, OzTAM introduced its Time Shift Viewing (TSV) service, recognising the increasing use of personal video recorders (PVRs). At the time, this was the most significant change to Australian television audience measurement since people meters were introduced in 1991. OzTAM’s TSV service measures and reports viewing of broadcast television content that is played back through the television set within 28 days of the original broadcast in addition to live viewing of broadcasts.

In February 2016 OzTAM introduced its Video Player Measurement (VPM) service, capturing minute-by-minute data on participating broadcasters' BVOD content played to connected devices such as tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, games consoles and PCs/laptops - wherever they are located in Australia.  

In July 2021, OzTAM, Regional TAM and Nielsen began the progressive rollout of Australia's new Total TV reporting standard, Virtual Australia (or, 'VOZ'), which crystalises Australia's Total TV picture, bringing together broadcast viewing on TV sets and connected devices to provide the country's first national, de-duplicated estimates of Total TV viewing. 

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OzTAM is the official television audience measurement source for Australia's five mainland metropolitan markets and nationally for subscription TV.
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