NEWS3 July 2009

GfK upgrades German TV measurement technology

Europe Technology

GERMANY— GfK is upgrading the metering technology it uses to measure TV audiences in Germany, adding the capability to monitor time-shifted and out-of-home viewing.

The agency is gradually replacing the old TC XL measurement device with the new TC Score system in all 5,640 homes across the country that are members of the TV ratings panel. The first 1,500 homes have already made the switch, and GfK says all households will have been converted by the end of the year.

GfK was commissioned to develop TC Score by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Fernsehforschung (AGF) – the German TV audience research cooperative. The agency said: “Ongoing market developments – in particular the increasing digitalisation of TV technology – had rendered change necessary.”

TC Score monitors and records every time a TV set is turned on or off or the channel is changed, down to the second. It also recognises other types of TV use, such as teletext, electronic programme guides and video games. The measurement of time-shifted viewing through digital video recorders is now possible and will become “an inherent part” of the currency for the German TV market, GfK said.

Out-of-home TV viewing, meanwhile, is modelled by recording the TV consumption of guests who visit panel households. Information on their viewing habits is then transferred to comparable members of the panel who were not at home watching TV during the time in question. The fusion procedure this relies upon is already used in a similar form by Intomart GfK in the Netherlands.