BARC appoints Dutch firm Civolution for watermarking tech

26 Feb,2014

By A Correspondent


Amidst issuing requests for proposals and advanced-level testing, the joint industry body of broadcast stakeholders BARC (short for Broadcast Audience Research Council) has contracted Dutch tech firm Civolution to provide the watermarking technology for its proposed measurement platform. The decision comes weeks after the announcement of Médiamétrie as its key technology vendor.


Partho Dasgupta

“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 Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC. “By leveraging Civolution and Médiamétrie’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.”


According to a communiqué, the audience measurement system – which has already successfully been deployed by Médiamétrie in a few TV markets – relies on Civolution’s audio watermarking coding technology for automated content identification and integrates seamlessly into Médiamétrie’s TV meter system for panellists’ equipment and 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.


Gwilherm Nicolas, Head of International Business Development at Médiamétrie 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.  Médiamétrie has relied on Civolution’s technology for many years”.


”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 Alex Terpstra, CEO, Civolution.


Civolution’s audio watermark is embedded in the TV’s sound track prior to broadcast. Upon airing, the content is then identified by Médiamétrie’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.


”Through our close collaboration with Médiamétrie, 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 Jean Michel Masson, SVP Watermarking Solutions, Civolution.


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