NO AUDIENCE, NO ADVERTISERS: THE IMPORTANCE OF MEASURING

Why is important measuring the audience? That’s a deep question. As we read on AUDITEL‘s official website, that is the italian audience measurement major, “the measurement of audience is necessary to plan advertising spaces, that are essential to support televisions”.
Audience as a commodity for advertisers. Advertisers as the most important stakeholders for televisions. Thus, the measurement of audience is the mean used by televisions to sell their audience to advertisers. It is essential, as AUDITEL claimes.

AUDITEL is a major based in Milan (north of Italy) which was founded in 1984. Its aim is collecting

data about italian television audience in order to classify tv channels, shows and movies that are broadcasted.
How does AUDITEL work? It is very similar to the australian OzTam. In fact, it has installed specific devices connected to the televisions of around 15600 italian families. These devices allow AUDITEL to know what these families use to see on their TVs, when and where.

If we glance at AUDITEL website, we could find very interesting data. The most interesting? Do you remember 1990 World Cup semi-final? It was the 3rd of July and the 87.25% of people were watching it, that is the highest percentage of audience recorded up to today!
By the way, according to the most recent released ratings, the most viewed channel is RAI 1 for the public broadcasting and CANALE 5 for the private broadcasting (Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset). (AUDITEL, June 2014)

What about Tv shows? The most viewed are prime-time Tv shows and newscasts at large. It could be engaging looking at the 2013 most viewed shows, particularly because they are quite unexpected for me. Let’s see the top 5 (the full list is available here).

1) Pope Francesco election (21,3 million viewers, 82,7%);
2) Sanremo’s festival (13 millions viewers 53,7%);
3) Confederation’s Cup Spain vs Italy (12,4 millions viewers, 43,7%);
4) Fiction “Volare” (11,4 millions viewers, 38,8%);
5) Fiction “Il commissario Montalbano” (10,8 millions of viewers, 38,2%)

As you can see (I know that the majority of view have no idea of what these shows are) there are no talk shows, reality shows or educational films in the classification. That surprizes me a lot, because it seems that italian people are very catholic, local music lovers (Sanremo is, indeed, the festival of the italian music), soccer lovers (that is absolutely true) and crime dramas lovers. Nonetheless, italian people are also reality shows and real time shows lovers. Yes, we have an italian version of “MasterChef” tuned on a private channel (Sky 1) with the 7,3% of viewers!

So, this is what italian people see on Tv. But how do they see Tv? Or to be precise, what do they do while they watch the Tv? An interesting study of comScore MobiLens reveals the the 46,7% of italians use social networks and the 26% send Sms. 

What about me? I’m really addicted to my smartphone and I really like sending tweets or posting comments of Facebook during tv shows or movies because I love sharing my opinions about what I’m seeing.

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