About CSM



HKTAM stands for Hong Kong Television Audience Measurement. It aims to understand the TV viewing behavior of people in Hong Kong – Who are they, When do they watch, What content do they watch, For How long do they watch, etc.

TV ratings data derived from HKTAM is used as a trading currency in the media and advertising industry, and in publicity. Broadcasters use the data to understand viewers’ program preferences for programming decisions, and to price advertising space. Media agencies and advertisers use the data to understand how to reach their target audience for planning effective media campaigns.

HKTAM adheres to the highest research standards and references international standards such as the Towards Global Guidelines for Television Audience Measurement (GGTAM) and the Media Rating Council (MRC). HKTAM is also constantly monitored by the Founding Subscriber Committee (FSC), a role similar to that of the Joint Industry Committee (JIC), to ensure that it remains the undisputed gold standard for TV audience measurement.

In many audience measurement markets, the JIC defines the specifications of the measurement service; sources, evaluates, selects and endorses the research provider; and manages and monitors the research service to ensure it meets industry standards. In Hong Kong, the JIC is known as the FSC, which comprises representatives from the three domestic licensed free TV broadcasters (HOY TV, TVB, ViuTV) and 10 media agencies from The Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of Hong Kong (HK4As).

Research Overview

HKTAM is a TV audience measurement service that provides minute-by-minute TV viewing data for all the monitored channels in Hong Kong, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Here is a snapshot of the HKTAM Service:

Panel Size

Around 2,700 individuals from 1,000 households

TV Population                      

in Hong Kong

6,494,000 individuals aged 4+ from 2,554,000 TV households (Year 2024)

TV Ratings

1 rating point (TVR) = 64,940 viewers (Year 2024)

Research Day

From 02:00:00 to 25:59:59

Reported Channels

200+ channels including free TV, pay/OTT TV, and satellite TV channels


Research Process

Viewing data derived from HKTAM has undergone a series of rigorous processes involving comprehensive scientific methods and cutting-edge technologies. These can be summarized as shown below.

Step 1:    Conduct Establishment Survey for Latest TV Population Profile & Media Landscape

The Establishment Survey (ES) is the first step to set up the HKTAM Service. This large-scale survey aims to understand the media landscape, and gauge the universe and profile of the TV population in Hong Kong. It is conducted twice a year to monitor the dynamics of the competitive TV market.
Households that have completed the Establishment Survey interview are the source of samples from which qualified households will be randomly drawn and invited by CSM to become the HKTAM panel.


Step 2:    Recruit Panel to Represent TV Population

Approximately 2,700 individuals aged 4 and above from 1,000 households that are representative of the TV population based on the results of the Establishment Survey are recruited.
The panel is rebalanced twice a year based on the results of the latest Establishment Survey to ensure that the panel reflects the latest TV population profile in Hong Kong.

Step 3:    Install PeopleMeter for TV Viewing Data Collection

Each TV set in the recruited panel households is equipped with Kantar’s PeopleMeter system. The purpose of the PeopleMeter is to identify and report all uses of each TV set in the household.

Step 4:    Data Polling on a Daily Basis

Every day at a set time, the viewing data stored in the PeopleMeter is automatically transferred to the data collection servers at CSM for data processing.

Step 5:    Set Up Audio Reference Sites as Audio Matching Reference Source

Reference sites are set up in various districts of Hong Kong to continuously collect the audio signals of all relevant broadcast content. These provide the references against which the panel members’ viewing information (collected by the PeopleMeter) is matched to determine which broadcast channels the panelists watched, and at what time.

Step 6:    Audio Matching of Viewing Data from Panel with Audio Reference Sites

Audio Matching is a widely used and well accepted technology for channel identification worldwide. Once the data has been collected from the panelists’ households, the audio from the TVs in the panel homes (collected via the PeopleMeter) is matched to the broadcasters’ audio signals collected at CSM’s reference sites, in order to determine which TV channels were watched, and at what time.

Step 7a:    Quality Control & Data Processing

After the viewing data is polled from the panel households, a number of data processing procedures are carried out, including data validation and quality control. The data is then weighted to represent the TV population aged 4 and above in Hong Kong.

Step 7b:    TV Program Monitoring

To ensure objectivity and independence from the broadcasters, CSM sets up its own program monitoring team to register and classify programs from a pre-agreed list of broadcast channels on a daily basis. The actual start and end times, and names of the programs are verified and logged, in case unexpected changes in programs and advertising schedules may occur.
The program information is then integrated with the viewing data at the data processing stage to produce program ratings data.

Step 8:    Data Delivery to End Users Daily

Validated data is made available to the industry no later than 9:30am on the following business day, via CSM’s designated software system or analysis tools of users’ choice.

To find out more about the HKTAM research process, please send an email from your business email address to csmhk@csmhk.com.hk, and specify “Request for Research Process” under “Subject”, together with your company name and job title.


Hong Kong TV Content Gold Standard

The Hong Kong TV Content Gold Standard is designed to standardize all aspects of the HKTAM Service, including terminologies, calculations and algorithms. The Standard is intended for subscribers, application software developers, the industry, HKTAM data users and service providers to follow.

If you would like to receive a copy of the HK TV Content Gold Standard, please send an email from your business email address to csmhk@csmhk.com.hk, and specify “Request for HK TV Gold Standard” under “Subject”, together with your company name and job title.

If you have received a letter asking you to participate in the Television Audience Survey

CSM conducts the Establishment Survey twice a year to provide the industry with the latest information on the media landscape in Hong Kong. A random sample of addresses is selected to be invited to participate in the survey. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. For ease of identification, our interviewers will carry an Interviewer Identity Card and wear a company uniform while conducting the interview.

In accordance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance of Hong Kong, all personally identifiable information will be kept strictly confidential. All survey responses will be analyzed in aggregate. Reports of the survey data will be presented in summaries that prevent information relating to individual persons or households from being revealed.

If you have any enquiries relating to the survey, or would like to make an interview appointment, please contact our Duty Manager on (852) 2111 8813 during office hours (10:00am–6:00pm Monday-Friday excluding public holidays).

Last revision date: 5 January, 2024

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