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The TV industry depends on exact information about viewership behaviour. Current methods for collecting this information used by national TV rating agencies rely on specialized set-top boxes. This use of specialized hardware practically limits the number of households sampled and provides a single point of failure (see the technical and legal problems in Switzerland in January). Furthermore, the data is often only available with significant delay.

In the context of ViSTA-TV (Video Stream Analytics for the TV Industry), an EC-funded project, we combined linked open data (LOD) with behavioural information from IPTV. This allows ViSTA-TV to provide highly accurate, real-time and fault-tolerant market research information based on a much larger number of viewers.

At IBC, ViSTA-TV will demonstrate prototype applications enabled by real-time information obtained from live streams of IPTV audience data:

• Broadcaster Dashboard: a dashboard application for broadcasters showing real-time audience statistics, channel switching behaviour, analytics, and associated social media activity;
• Heartbeat EPG: a programme guide enabling viewers to see which programmes are currently attracting the greatest attention;
• Infinite Trailers: a next generation channel surfing application equipped with basic remote control functionality that helps gathering audience statistics.