A wide social survey, a rigorous method
Our technological architecture, which allows us to measure TV audience (of editorial and advertising content) every day, 24 hours a day, minute by minute is based on a wide social survey, carried out visiting more than 20,000 households: the Auditel Establishment Survey. The Establishment Survey is an accurate measurement process for “portraying”, seven times a year, the Italian society, the Italian households and their interaction with the media. It also allows us to generate (and systematically renew) the Auditel SuperPanel™, a sample with no equal at global level for its ratio to the entire population as it relies on the collaboration of no less than 16,100 households including about 41,000 individuals. The SuperPanel™ is extremely important as it guarantees Auditel absolute granularity when measuring small, thematic and local channels and absolute stability when measuring bigger channels. What’s more, thanks to the SuperPanel™ it was possible to create the complex technological architecture behind the Auditel solution for measuring digital devices: the new census survey – active since 16th December 2018 – to measure the so-called TV beyond TV on all digital devices. Thus, by hinging on a wide social survey (the Establishment Survey), a rigorous sample survey methodology (the SuperPanel™) and an absolutely innovative choice (the Auditel solution), we have conquered the international vanguard role becoming a point of reference in our field.
The Auditel Establishment Survey: what it is and how it works
The Auditel Establishment Survey is a large social survey that: 1. interviews 20,000 households residing in Italy, seven times a year and inside their homes; 2. feeds a big data bank; 3. is the source of the sample of the Auditel SuperPanel™. The Establishment Survey takes a high-definition snapshot of the Italian TV market thanks to its sample dimension (41,000 individuals), sample dispersion (more than 3,500 cities out of 8,000), level of detail and methodology, that is the face-to-face Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI). Based on rigorous statistical criteria, the Auditel Establishment Survey has generated a fully representative sample (the SuperPanel™) of the geographical, demographic and socio-cultural features of the Italian population: all individuals aged 4 and older (data from ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics) residing in Italy. Consequently and thanks to the valuable collaboration with the Bank of Italy and ISTAT, the Basic Survey is now deeply rooted in the national statistical system as it takes a unique picture of the Country and its transformations.
The Auditel SuperPanel™: what it is and how it works
The 16,100 households included in the Auditel SuperPanel™ are extracted through an anonymous and random procedure thanks to the outcome of the Auditel Establishment Survey. Thanks to its composition and weighting system, the Auditel SuperPanel™ correctly represents the wider target population it comes from. Representativeness bases on two factors: a system of enrolment cells matching geographical variables (city size and area), structural characteristics of households (age of head and number of members) and number of TV sets; a double expansion system (one for household data and one for individual data) consisting of a pre-expansion stage for cells and iterative marginal weighting. The Auditel SuperPanel™ distribution on the 103 Italian provinces is proportional to the population, while the panel dispersion covers over 3,500 out of the 8,000 Italian municipalities. The panel households are equipped with a meter, an electronic device which automatically detects the TV channel being watched. The meters measure the TV viewing of the household members and any possible guests minute by minute every day.
Auditel measures more than 100 Audience TargetsSee them all
Subscriptions and Pay TV
- Purchase Purchasing Manager
- Manager with children 0-3
- Manager with children 4-7
- Manager with children 8-14
Subscriptions and Pay TV
- Pay tv sat
- Pay tv sat with HD
- Pay tv with Sky Cinema
- Pay tv sat with Sky Sport
- Pay tv sat with Sky Calcio
- Pay tv sat with My Sky
Internet access from home
Possession Sat Free
- Decoder TV sat
- Decoder sat free
- Five components and beyond
- High Class
- Middle High Class
- Middle Class
- Middle Low Class
- Lower Class
- High level profession
- Mid-level profession
- Executive occupation
- Not busy
- Child / Student
- Up to 10 thousand
- From 10 thousand to 100 thousand
- From 100 thousand to 250 thousand
- Over 235 thousand
Adults with children 0-3
Adults with children 4-14
Pay Tv Sat
Free Tv Sat
- 1 Tv
- 2 Tv
- 3 Tv
- 4 Tv
- 5 Tv
- 6 Tv
- 7 Tv
- 8 Tv
- 9 Tv
- Kids room
- Another room
- Lower Middle
- Higher secondary schools
- Family of foreigners only
- Family of Italians only
- Mixed family
- Foreign Individuals
- Italian Individuals
- Single person under 65
- Single person aged 65 or over
- Childless couple with a householder under the age of 65
- Childless couple with a householder aged 65 or over
- Couple with 1 child
- Couple with 2 children
- Couple with 3 or more children
- Single parent
The categories that make up these targets can be crossed with each other
thanks to the use of analysis software available on the market.
There are no limitations to the type of audience combinations that can be created.
All groups which are not based on individual characteristics (such as gender, age or educational qualification) are available both individual is familiar. For example, it is possible to constitute the group of individuals from a certain region of Italy, but also the group of families from the same region. Or constitute the target of individuals subscribing to Sky, but also that of families subscribing to Sky.
The sample system: what it is and how it works
The 16,100 households of the so-called Auditel SuperPanel™ sample (representing the entire population residing in Italy) are equipped with an electronic device (the “Meter”) for monitoring their TV consumption on traditional TV, Smart TV, PC, Game Console, etc. 24 hours a day. A complex technological architecture collects, weights and releases the audience data that is published daily just before 10am. Following data processing, the bureaux active in the Italian market allo broadcasters, advertisers, media buyers, etc., to perform sophisticated analyses. In fact, Auditel provides valuable in-depth information on TV viewers (such as gender, age, geographic area, socio-economic class, education) and programme performance (share, minutes viewed, peaks, falls, etc.), that are precious for both publishers and advertisers. This means that every day Auditel produces a currency recognized and used by the TV market to manage business relationships between the producers of TV content and the buyers of TV advertising slots.
the sample system
Average Audience, or “Average Minute Rating” (AMR) is the average number of viewers of a Programme across its duration. It’s the ratio between the sum of viewers in each minute of a period of time and the duration of that period in minutes.
Share is the audience of a TV channel expressed as percent of the population viewing TV in a given period of time. It is arguably the metric most widely used by media reporting on TV audiences.
Penetration is a percentage showing the ratio between the viewers of a category and the corresponding population. For example, how many 15-year-olds watch a programme out of the total number of 15-year-olds of the Auditel SuperPanel™. This metric is also know internationally as “TVR” (TV Rating).
Net Contacts (NC) shows the number of viewers who watched a specific programme for at least one minute, counted only once. This metric is also technically called Coverage.
Minutes Viewed (MV)
Minutes Viewed (MV) is the average number of minutes watched by viewers for each programme. It’s equal to the programme average rating multiplied by its duration and divided by net contacts. This metric is also known internationally as “ATS” (Average Time Spent).
The Loyalty index is a percentage showing the ratio between the “Minutes Viewed” (or “ATS”) of a programme and the programme duration.
the census system
The Average Minute Rating-Device (AMR-D) shows the digital audience per average minute watched live or on-demand (VOD). It’s basically identical to traditional TV AMR, but it currently quantifies the number of devices in the average minute instead of the number of viewers in the average minute.
Legitimate Streams (LS) measures the volume of streams of a linear or on-demand (VOD) content played and viewed for at least 300 milliseconds (the technical threshold which ensures that the stream was actually started) on each device.
Spent - Device (TTS-D)
Total Time Spent - Device (TTS-D) is the sum of all the seconds each device reproduced editorial or advertising content of a given channel or category. It may be calculated over a given period, a given time band, one or more device types, one or more viewing modes, etc.
Digital device audience data and individual audience data cannot be added together. The Average Stream Duration (ASD) measures the average viewing time of a single Legitimate Stream. It’s obtained dividing TTS by the number of LSs.
What we measure with the census survey
The scope of the census survey has been constantly evolving. In addition to traditional TV channels, census data covers the channels created specifically for the digital world. The list of the “properties” and the measured channels is constantly monitored and updated monthly.
The Golden Rule: what it is and how it works
Auditel defined a Golden Rule for the census measurement as it did for the SuperPanel™ and the sample measurement. The Golden Rule is a code for ensuring we provide the market with certain and univocal results. For instance, it guarantees that different bureaux produce the same digital device audience census metrics (up to the thousandths place) despite the thousands of possible combinations or different applications. A difference made by the following rule: unlike other players in the metrics market, the Auditel solution only considers stream views, not stream starts or stream requests. Thus, the Auditel Legitimate Streams (LS) measures the number of content streams played and viewed – live or on-demand – for at least 300 milliseconds (the technical threshold ensuring the stream was actually started) on each device. The market can therefore count on the guarantee of a single currency: it provides more accurate and equal data from all types of processing software; it is more reliable.
The Single Source Panel: what it is and how it works
A size (16,100 households) that has no equal at international level for its ratio to the entire population and the quality certified by the recruiting, management and control protocols of the accurate Establishment Survey make the Auditel SuperPanel™ the only “engine” in the world able to measure both traditional TV and streaming TV audience on all devices (traditional TV sets, Smart TVs, Tablets, PCs, Game Consoles) from home and out of home, acting as a Single Source Panel: the sole source for integrating the sample measurement system and the census measurement system. Creating the SuperPanel™ has thus been a winning choice from all points of view. The SuperPanel™ has guaranteed (and guarantees) absolute precision in audience measurement. It has guaranteed (and guarantees) exact correspondence of its sample with the Italian population universe (socio-economic classes have been redefined with higher precision and according to ordinal and dynamic logic instead of the mere possession of goods). But above all – it’s worth repeating that - the SuperPanel™ has generated the Single Source Panel and will soon enable Auditel to define the TV Total Audience.
What’s next: the TV Total Audience
At present, the TV audience data obtained with the sample system runs parallel with the census TV audience data on viewings from digital devices at home and out of home. As a matter of fact, the data produced by the new census system does not replace and cannot be added together with the sample system data: they can only be used side by side. But at present , the Auditel Standard is only at the first step of an already programmed implementation process which, thanks to the technological evolution taking place with the launch and wide spreading of the 5G transmission system and the gradual replacement of traditional TVs with Smart TVs, will allow us to add the audience of a programme, content or advert viewed on traditional TV to the audience of the same programme, content or advert viewed on digital devices, thus obtaining the whole average minute total audience. The TV Total Audience (as it is technically defined by stakeholders) is a “mirage” for all audience measurement companies and all our international counterparts: everyone is working on it, no one has been able to realise it yet.
Data control: what it is and how it works
Auditel data reliability is ensured by a rigorous control system in 10 points: 1. full intellectual property rights on infrastructures, protocols, know-how and databases for comprehensive process monitoring and total transparency (no black box); 2. completely monitorable and auditable protocols, algorithms and procedures; 3. continuous cross-check on all the measured TV market competitors, which can rely on a constantly verified data quality; 4. the subjects monitoring Auditel’s activity have full control power, with a data “reproduction” protocol that can be executed even months after publication by third-party auditors; 5. systematic controls on procedures, IT security, data processing and SuperPanel™ households management according to certified protocols given to third-party auditors; 6. random checks by third-party auditors in accordance with the verified protocols; 7. development of automated closed-source systems for internalising cross-checks on data; 8. controls on teams and staff training and refresher training process; 9. surveillance by three Authorities: Communications Regulatory Authority (AgCom), Antitrust Authority (Agcm), Data Protection Authority; 10. strict and continuous Risk Mapping procedure to identify the main risks Auditel might face, assessing their possible impacts and constantly updating the measures to reduce and/or neutralise such risks.
Who monitors all our activities
Auditel’s activity is deeply rooted in the national regulatory framework as well as looked after and monitored by three Authorities: the Communications Regulatory Authority (AgCom); the Antitrust Authority (Agcm); the Data Protection Authority (Privacy). We have engaged in continuous dialogue with the three of them. For example, the new sample – the SuperPanel™ - , the gestation of its regulating model and its implementation plan have gone through a long verification and sharing process in collaboration with AgCom, which, according to law 249 of 1997, “oversees audience and media distribution indexes measurement, verifies the surveys on audience and media distribution indexes carried out by other parties, validates the accuracy of audience and distribution measurement methods and the truthfulness of the published data, as well as the measurement of TV programmes and the activity of the companies conducting the surveys.” Auditel has fulfilled this obligation with a note – available as PDF on this website and the AgCom website – detailing all the methodologies and the technical features of its solution.