In this new media world of insatiable content consumption, audience measurement is becoming more and more critical. Beyond the hard numbers of how many people are accessing a program, understanding who is watching, how they engage with the content, when, where and through which media is essential for content providers, advertisers and broadcasters to better tailor their offerings and maximize impact. The proliferation of devices and networks for watching content, the multitude of ways to watch such content and the changing habits in viewing content, such as PVR and catch-up TV services, is making audience measurement far more complex than ever before. 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 mode.


Digital watermarking embeds a unique identifier into media content while being distributed or prior to distribution, making content and corresponding broadcasters instantly identifiable. Using specialized software able to retrieve, analyze and report the data, digital watermarking allows the precise identification of content and broadcasters.

In an audience measurement application, the technology works by inserting digital data, imperceptible to the human ear, into each program’s audio track. The digital ID contains information about the channel that broadcast the program, the airing time and, if relevant, a content identifier. Audiometers installed in panelists’ homes read the data, collect the information and send them daily to a central database for processing and accurate reporting.

Benefits of digital watermarking for audience measurement include…

  • Accuracy and detailed detection logs allows the reporting of the content being watch, channel, airing time and distribution network
  • Can be used for radio, television, internet video and podcast audience measurement applications
  • ID tags or payloads enable transmission of significant amounts of data, providing superior audience granularity
  • Can be integrated into legacy audiometer to minimize change for panelists and audience operators
  • Allow improved live broadcast reporting as well as excellent time-shifted measurement

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Member companies who offer “Audience Measurement,” solutions:

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