The torrential rain that pummelled the venue where Foxtel was holding its upfronts yesterday evening did nothing to dampen the mood, with the streamer announcing several landmark moves.
Here are some of the highlights:
Its name is Hubbl
Foxtel saved the best for last yesterday with CEO Patrick Delaney taking to the stage right at the end of the presentation to reveal the name of its new cross-service streaming hub.
Addressing the issue of overwhelmed Australian viewers, Foxtel revealed the official name of Project Magneto – Hubbl.
The highly-anticipated project aims to bring together free and streaming entertainment into one user interface.
The Hubbl experience is “delivered via a world-leading entertainment operating system (OS)”, which will be available on two different devices, giving consumers access to a universe of content whilst unifying their subscriptions.
Backed by global leaders in entertainment technology – Comcast USA and Sky UK – Hubbl is described as having “world scale” whilst being “designed for Australia”.
Hubbl is a small device that plugs into any compatible TV. The only way to make the Hubbl experience better will be to buy Hubbl Glass – a world-class TV with Hubbl and a high-quality builtin sound bar that only requires an internet connection and a power cord, no other wires.
Patrick Delany, CEO, Hubbl and Foxtel Group, said: “We all love the explosion of choice that streaming has delivered us over the past few years. But there is no doubt we are all experiencing the same frustrations: having to go in and out of apps, keeping track of show recommendations, remembering what we started but did not finish watching and who in the family is paying for what. Hubbl solves these frustrations.
“Hubbl is the next quantum leap in entertainment technology and is the solution to a complex Australian streaming landscape caused by the fabulous explosion of choice in streaming services available to Australians.
Foxtel Partners With VideoAmp To Challenge Media Measurement
Foxtel Media yesterday announced plans to change how media is bought, valued and sold in Australia. The company unveiled a new partnership with US-based, media measurement and optimisation software company, VideoAmp to develop a new measurement system that will accurately capture viewing data from across Foxtel Group services.
Speaking at Foxtel Media’s 2024 Upfront, CEO Mark Frain mentioned that the Group had reached a digital tipping point in viewership, with 66 per cent (3.1 million subscribers) of the company’s customer base coming from its streaming services. Frain explained that existing ratings methodologies were struggling to keep pace with the rapid shift in viewership to digital streaming platforms.
“As a whole, the Foxtel Group has more viewership data than ever before, and we need a sophisticated solution that can leverage these large datasets. VideoAmp is an established, proven entity in the US, and we’re excited to be working with them to create a new measurement system that’s fit for purpose and connects the dots between ad exposures, audiences, and outcomes,” said Frain.
The Foxtel Group holds extensive viewership data for over four million subscribers. Under the FoxTest initiative, the new measurement system aims to support brands with advertiser appetite moving away from small measurement panels towards the utilisation of premium and scaled data sets in order to deliver better business outcomes.
“The US television market has operated as a multiple currency marketplace for several years, and we are now seeing the Australian market come around to the concept as more cross-platform audience measurement is required, and brands and agencies flag concerns about economic headwinds,” said Frain.
VideoAmp boasts an impressive publisher roster for their measurement services in the US, including Warner Brothers Discovery, Disney, NBC Universal and Televisa Univision.
Foxtel Media reimagines audience data
Foxtel Media has selected Kantar Media to deliver a new audience measurement service, ingesting data collected from Foxtel subscribers’ set top boxes using return path data technology.
The Kantar powered service will unlock the power of the viewing data captured through more than one million Foxtel set-top boxes installed in Australia.
Foxtel Media will access the data using the powerful AdvantEdge software from Kantar Media’s TechEdge software unit. The solution incorporates data validation, processing, demographic mapping, capping (adjusting long viewing sessions into realistic viewing levels) and quality control.
Mark Frain, CEO, Foxtel Media commented “In 2023, we should all be able to confidently measure and trade digital currency in a digital world. Foxtel Group has access to data from over one million set top boxes and more than 3.1 million streaming customers, and we’d be negligent if we leave this data idling for another minute. That is why we’ve engaged with Kantar, a world-renowned and locally familiar measurement player, to process and analyse viewing data from the true scale of set top boxes being used in Australia. We’re looking forward to delivering new insight into our audiences to aid media planning.”
The service will be able to provide a granular understanding of pay-tv consumption and subscriber behaviour in Australia. Foxtel Media anticipates it will be available to clients from 1 December 2023, and will also include viewing data from the past two years.
Keld Nielsen, senior director at Kantar Media added, “We are delighted to be partnering with Foxtel Media, leveraging our deep experience in processing operator data to unlock the value of their subscriber data. We are excited to explore new opportunities that serve the Australian media industry, unlocking further opportunities to integrate and enrich more data services in the future”.