Apples with apples? A look at TVNZ and MediaWorks’ on demand numbers

Last week we posted a story about TVNZ’s On Demand service hitting the three million streams per month milestone in March. And, in the interests of fairness—and comparison—we asked for MediaWorks’ figures as well. That’s when the fun started. 

MediaWorks said it had a smaller, but still a very respectable 2,355,000 streams in the same period. But after we posted the story that number was called into question because radio and news clips were also included, whereas TVNZ’s figures are based solely on its long-format streams. 

The March results for TVNZ and MediaWorks’ on demand service don’t show anything scandalous or earthshaking, but they do offer a glimpse at how the two free-to-air broadcasters are faring with their streaming services. 

A few things to note before looking at the numbers:

1. TVNZ and MediaWorks use different methods of measurement for their streams. TVNZ uses Nielsen Video Intelligence while MediaWorks uses Nielsen Site Census. 

2. MediaWorks’ Rachel Lorimer says it’s very transparent about its data and it is available on its sales portal, but it makes sure to distinguish between different types of streams. TVNZ would not provide its news clips numbers. And while TVNZ’s Georgie Hills didn’t want to comment on its competitors’ numbers, eyebrows were raised when Mediaworks claimed it had clocked in 2.3 million streams. 

3. MediaWorks has short-form video content on its radio websites, TVNZ obviously doesn’t. 

4. We’ve attempted to best present an apple vs. apple picture here, but with these differing methods of information collection what we’ve managed is more apple vs nashi pear. Both delicious in their own right, but not quite the same.

Week Commencing TVNZ (Streams) TVNZ (Unique Browsers) Mediaworks (TV3 + Four Streams) Mediaworks (TV3 + Four Unique Browsers) Mediaworks (TV + 3News shorts + radio TV Streams) Mediaworks (TV + 3News shorts + radio TV Unique Browsers)
4 March 689485 368105 179239 64699 860600 350549
11 March 697983 376718 215305 70151 909103 364539
18 March 677663 371502 200428 69950 752856 298654
25 March 660017 377363 178613 65853 878698 364518

In March (not counting the first three days), TVNZ had an average of 681,000 streams per week for its longform content, MediaWorks had less than a third of that with 193,000 streams. Not surprisingly then TVNZ had far more average unique weekly browsers to its streamed content (193,000) than MediaWorks (68,000).

The picture changes considerably when you take into account MediaWorks’ much larger online video footprint from its radio stations. TV3, Four, 3 News clips and video from radio stations gave MediaWorks an average of 850,000 weekly streams in March, and 345,000 unique weekly browsers. As mentioned above we weren’t provided with TVNZ’s newsclip numbers for a more accurate comparison. 

Home and Away, 7 Days and The Blue Rose were MediaWorks’ top on demand shows. But X Factor looks likely to bump them off the list. Home and Away (which has five episodes per week) was the highest viewed show on the broadcaster with 38,600 average weekly streams. TVNZ’s top three shows for March were Shortland Street, My Kitchen Rules and The Big Bang Theory.

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