Thursday, November 09, 2006

Dutch public broadcasts creates long tail

The Dutch public broadcast will combine the viewing figures of television and internet. Seven days after a broadcast the internet statistics will be reported. This will result in a combined measuring and eventually in demonstrating the long tail effect of a broadcast.

Viewing stats of public broadcast programs are already available on the day after the broadcast. So far only the broadcast viewing stats were reported. But now the internet stats will be reported after seven days in a combined report of broadcast and internet stats.

Presently there are 17 theme channels on One of the most popular internet programs is Missed a Broadcast? However in terms of extra reach it only got as far as 10 to 15 percent in comparison to the broadcast. But in concrete this means that in September 5,5 million streams were requested. Other broadcast programmes do even better. The Dutch public broadcast company VPRO has a music site called 3VOOR12 (3 minutes before 12 o’clock). In 2005 the Top 10 of the most frequently asked audio visual productions represented 6 percent , but the top 1000 was good for 60 percent. And a television game, called Lingo, of October 19th, 2006 got 86.000 internet recalls; this was more a form of showing support for a programme threatened to be taken off the tube.

The theme channels deliver repackaged programmes at a tune of 12 million euro, partly paid by the cable operators. They have 935.000 consumers or 27 percent of the Dutch households.

By combining television and internet figures, the reach of the programmes can at last be measured. And this is needed as some broadcast shows continue the show on internet and broadcast the result one night later. Now the total effect will be measured. A long tail of a programme existing of high figures on the night of the broadcast and lower stats on internet can finally show that a programme has a second life. Although the stats on the internet programmes are still not very high, it is expected that it is a question of time before the long tail will show.

The internet thematic channels have also their problems. Rights for reruns are difficult to get and negotiations between collecting societies and public broadcasting companies are not easy. The media law will also have to change from an analogue to a technology neutral orientation. This will allow other parties than cable operators to be covered by the media law, such a the telco incumbent KPN, which sells television via the ADSL2+ product Mine as well as digital terrestrial television via Digitenne and Versatel with ADSL2+ on soccer broadcasts.


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