Discovery's Total Video aims to revolutionise 'prehistoric' ratings systems
Discovery has invested heavily in its Eurosport Player and Dplay OTT services in recent years as the viewing landscape continues to fragment, and has aggressively marketed Eurosport Player as the place to watch “every minute, every athlete and every sport” from the PyeongChang winter Olympics.
Discovery is not alone in experimenting with innovative audience measurement systems. Nielsen itself launched its own system claiming to capture viewers across all screens and devices, called Nielsen Total Audience, in 2015. Meanwhile, in March last year, NBC, the US Olympics broadcaster, announced that it would switch from a households demographic, which it has used for all recent Olympics, to a total viewer guarantee of viewership across broadcast, cable and digital (called ‘Total Audience Delivery’ numbers) for PyeongChang.Asked why Discovery appears to be meeting resistance to the adoption of a more comprehensive audience and engagement measurement system, Perrette said: “It’s not resistance, as opposed to, firstly, a speed issue and, secondly, the eco-system that all of us are in means that there are challenges, in the sense that when you make changes it’s usually the case that what were the outputs at the time are going to change. Billions of dollars are at stake in these changes, so we in the industry are our own worst enemy in some cases.”