Television

Civolution to provide watermarking technology to BARC

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MUMBAI: Civolution, a Netherlands-based provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetising content has announced that the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has contracted it to provide its watermarking technology to underpin one of the world’s largest audience measurement platforms.

The announcement comes shortly after BARC chose the TV meter system of Mediametrie, the audience measurement and survey company for television, radio, cinema and the internet. The two companies will build the technology framework for audience measurement solution for BARC.

BARC addresses a population of over 1 billion, of which over 600 million have access to television in some form. This will be the first fully digital audience measurement system employed directly by the Indian broadcasters, advertisers and ad agencies and is scheduled to commence operations towards the end of this year.

The audience measurement system - which has already successfully been deployed by Mediametrie in multiple TV markets - relies on Civolution's audio watermarking coding technology for automated content identification and integrates seamlessly into Mediametrie's TV meter system for panellists' equipment and panellists' data processing. It provides broadcasters with a detailed analysis of their exposure to the public, whether by the number of households tuning in to the programme or the amount of time spent watching each piece of content.

"India has one of the largest TV audiences in the world so it was critical for us to create an audience measurement system that is gold standard," said BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta. "By leveraging Civolution and Mediametrie's expertise in audience tracking, technology and analytics we can now study viewers' TV habits in precise detail, enabling broadcasters and advertisers to implement efficient strategies to reach their target audience."

Civolution's audio watermark is embedded in the TV's sound track prior to broadcast. Upon airing, the content is then identified by Mediametrie's TV meter, in real-time. In addition to granular measurement of the content being watched, the solution features support for catch-up TV. The technology provides cross-platform audience measurement and will enable mobile device measurement, triggering the creation of new services and the reduction of operating costs. In parallel, the same watermark infrastructure deployed by Indian broadcasters could be used to synchronize with great accuracy their own interactive second screen applications.

''With so many new ways of watching TV content in this multi-screen universe, precise audience measurement has become increasingly complex. Audience measurement services must now report more accurately and reliably, from a larger number of channels, delivered through a fast-changing and diverse mix of broadcast platforms, and consumed either in real time or time-shifted'' said Civolution CEO Alex Terpstra.

''Through our close collaboration with Mediametrie, we have devised a powerful solution that provides accurate and reliable audience data that will allow BARC to help broadcasters plan, entertain and monetize their TV audiences,'' added Civolution SVP Watermarking Solutions Jean Michel Masson.

Mediametrie Director of Audiences Measurement Benoit Cassaigne added: ''We are very enthusiastic to embark on this project with Civolution and its watermarking technology, which is definitely the most powerful and error-free content detection technique available for TV audience measurement.  This means we are future-proofed in the fast-changing world of TV.  Mediametrie has relied on Civolution's technology for many years.”

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