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Japanese broadcasters and agencies use shared data platform to measure and trade online inventory

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The London-based video analytics specialist Streamhub has provided the data analytics and management technology that underpins the census-level reporting of broadcaster streaming content in Japan and the fusion of this census data with the 1+ million-strong online audience measurement panel that is operated by Video Research, the Japanese audience ratings research company that provides the local JIC (joint industry currency) for TV trading. The reporting from the new video data platform, which went live in May, is used as the basis for trading live and on-demand online broadcaster inventory in Japan. This cross-industry platform, which is funded by Video Research, is used by all the major commercial broadcasters and agencies in the country. As well as providing the reporting that supports the new de facto currency for trading online broadcaster inventory, the combined data analytics and DMP (data management platform) solution is being used for planning.

This is the first time rival broadcasters in Japan have worked together to pool their online inventory for reporting and planning. The platform opens the way to plan targeted campaigns at scale and is viewed as a way to compete more effectively against global digital players. It is hoped the shared data analytics/DMP solution will boost the value of AVOD to broadcasters and advertising buyers.

The platform provides a number of data views, designed for different stakeholders. All broadcasters and agencies get access to programme  viewing information across all the participating online broadcaster digital services. Additionally, every broadcaster gets a private view of advertising engagement. Agencies can also use the platform to track their own campaigns across all the different broadcasters.

Video Research is responsible for managing the software plug-ins that broadcasters must include in their apps in order to provide the census-level reporting. Streamhub takes responsibility for the data that is returned, taking care of storage, processing and analysis. Streamhub has developed a data fusion model for combining the census and panel data that it says could be used in other markets.

The census data measured by Streamhub on behalf of the broadcast industry includes impressions, completion levels, unique users and whole-population average viewing times, covering programmes and each advertisement. The ‘unique user’ metric is based on unique browser, cookie and device IDs. True person-level de-duplication is enabled in homes that are part of the online audience panel but according to Akihiro Tsuchiya, CEO at Streamhub, the unique user census metric is still a major new benefit for advertisers in Japan. The data platform reporting allows broadcasters and agencies to agree what is paid for – providing the flexibility to set a relevant target demo impression as the basis for a payment and maybe establish completion thresholds, for example.

Streamhub describes itself as an enterprise SaaS analytics start-up that provides video audience analytics and data management platforms to publishers, agencies and research companies globally. While this is its first project with Video Research, the company came with good recommendations, having worked independently with a number of Japanese broadcasters where it provides a business intelligence solution harnessing many of the same measurement and data management tools that have been harnessed for the shared industry platform. Fuji TV and TBS are two national commercial broadcasters who already use Streamhub.

The broadcaster business intelligence solution covers programme and advertising tracking and is used partly as an editorial tool, helping users to understand audiences. Streamhub also fuses broadcaster streaming service registration details and log-ins (described by Tsuchiya as CRM data) with programme viewing and advertising exposure. Thus, the company had an existing track record of matching an understanding of who someone is against their viewing. Obviously, these BI platforms provide each broadcaster with only a view of their own service.

“With the shared platform we are using the same core mechanism. Broadcasters entrust us with their private data,” Tsuchiya explains. “There is a different [software on device] plug-in but everything else is the same. It was a natural evolution to start working with the currency provider.”

While agencies can already use the shared broadcaster reporting/trading/planning platform for some basic targeting, Streamhub is working on a more sophisticated data activation layer that could be added later. This would mean agencies can target viewers who watched particular programmes on a specified list of broadcasters and who perhaps also engaged with a known brand advertisement. This additional layer of functionality would also support audience-based buying against a set of lifestyle, behavioural, need-state and intent attributes, with broadcasters able to draw upon third-party data to support this.

The data analytics and DMP solution being used by Video Research and its member broadcasters and agencies could be used in other markets, Tsuchiya emphasises. “It is an enterprise platform and could be used anywhere you have standardised online video viewing logs and corresponding data. This could be used for something similar outside Japan.”

Focusing on the Japanese shared measurement/trading solution, Streamhub’s CEO adds: “It forms the basis of both a collaborative and competitive marketplace where there is shared access to basic collective data for planning at scale, while the broadcasters can view a variety of individual business intelligence data whether it is AVOD, live, SVOD or QoS. It sets up the foundation for a transparent and scalable ecosystem to generate new opportunities through advanced use of data.”

Yoshihide Ikeda, Director, Project Development Division at Video Research Ltd, declares: “With TV evolving, it is exciting to work with advanced technology that simplifies the processing of billions of data points and our panel fusion process. We provide an essential standard for video inventory trading and we can now look forward to developing new frameworks and opportunities that brings the most out of AVOD and OTT through Streamhub’s capabilities.”

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