AUDIO MEASUREMENT SERVICE NORWAY
FROM RADIO TO AUDIO
Norway has measured radio with Personal People Meters (PPMs) since 2006. The radio channels have been in the process of moving to DAB+ and Online for all their content. This work was completed at the end of 2017. The radio and audio audience measurements aim is to measure and report all audio, live and time-shifted from the participating media; incorporating broadcast, online and podcast, to meet the current and future needs that reflect the evolving audio landscape.
Nielsen is excited to present Radio Audience Measurement in Norway. Our two-part solution is a PPM centric approach combined with al Digital Software Development Kit (SDK) for a census-based digital audio measurement.
Using our patented PPM technology, Nielsen enables a panel to measure all radio and audio listening from participating broadcasters; including DAB, DAB+, online, TV and FM content, as well as listening that happens in-home, out of home and in the second home. The small PPM device is carried all day by the panel members. It picks up an inaudible code included in all broadcasts and reports the listening overnight via the telecom network. The listening is reported the following morning to the market.
The reported currency data is delivered via Nielsen’s proprietary Audience Measurement Software tool, eRAM, or alternatively in optional tools like TechEdge.
By combining Nielsen’s PPM hardware encoder—to measure live linear content—with our PPM software encoders—to measure on demand and previously broadcast content—we will be able to encode, measure, and deliver currency-grade measurement for all radio and audio listening, irrespective of the method of consumption.
In addition to offering the PPM-centric solution outlined above, we will provide Nielsen’s Digital SDK to address the unique characteristics of the digital audio landscape in Norway. The SDK combines digital audio measurement with clear, global-standard methodology, allowing clients to measure the total reach of radio listening. Additionally, Nielsen’s data produced by the SDK gives the insight to accurately quantify the size and nature of their online audience on smartphones, tablets and computers.
The solution is used to measure and report all audio listening across mobile apps and web players—regardless of ad model and device—smartphones, tablets and computers. Participating audio owners will integrate the SDK on their digital platforms, which will in-turn allow Nielsen to deliver volumetric reporting of digital audio content consumed through mobile and web-enabled devices. Most importantly, it creates a platform and foundation to properly address the ever-changing landscape of audio consumption. This project manual is designed to describe and document relevant aspects of the audio measurement service to any interested parties. Any changes to the measurement will be updated in this manual.
As a part of the measurement solution, Nielsen has partnered with Norstat to design and execute a unique, stand-alone Establishment Survey to set the foundation for the measurement. The purpose of the Establishment Survey is to:
- Define the radio listening environment in Norway;
- Create a sample frame from which to recruit the panel.
Survey Sample Size
Different sample sizes are required for the estimation of the radio listening environment and the recruitment of the panel. Accordingly two parallel surveys have been conducted at the same time. Nielsen’s partner, Norstat, have therefore conducted 6000 interviews for the Establishment Survey. The first survey was used to assess the radio market besides the goal of delivering address bucket for recruitment and the second survey—known as the pre-recruitment survey—was used to gather additional addresses using a shorter questionnaire for expanding panel sampling frame.
Sample Framework and Sampling Method
The resident population of Norway aged 10 and older and living in private households is represented in Establishment Survey. Prior to Establishment Survey a random sample of individuals are selected from the Bisnode Matchit database. The sample was a stratified probability sample.
The stratas were specified by:
- Geography (19 counties + four big cities: Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim). Within strata quota requirements were implemented by interlacing
- Age (10-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-64; 65+) and
The reason of quota usage that sampling frame contains the age and gender information of subscribers, but he or she is not the same person as the participant of the survey in each case, especially in case of landline phone numbers.
Ninety-three percent of the sample were contacted via mobile phone and 7% via landline. In case of mobile phones, the primary user participated in the survey, while at landline phone the “last birthday” selection was implemented.
While this approach is an individual person-based sampling approach, demographic information was collected from all members of the household in which the person at the selected phone number resides since Nielsen recruits complete households and at selection procedure estimates for the household members on how strongly fit to necessary panel profile. The basis of Universe estimation is the individual representative sample.
At the start of every interview, the interviewer outlined the purpose of the survey and at the end of each interview, informed the interviewee that his/her household may be invited to join the PPM panel at a later date. The average length of an interview was 15 minutes. Main socio-demographic information included:
- Household size;
- Individual socio-demographic characteristics of each household member: gender, age, education, occupation
Radio Equipment / Internet Capable Devices / Listening Behavior:
- FM / DAB radio ownership;
- FM / DAB radio in car;
- FM / DAB radio in second home / cabin / boat;
- Internet connection at home;
- Ownership of PCs, tablets, smartphones;
- Claimed weight of listening, estimation of radio listening level (in and out of the home);
- Use of podcasts;
- Listening via TV;
- Listening via mobile phones;
- Listening through headphones;
- Listening to internet audio streaming
The establishment survey included all information used for panel sample control or weighting control and is estimated from establishment survey. The pre-recruitment survey was limited to information used for panel sample control and maintenance for the next 12 months.
The fieldwork for the establishment and pre-recruitment surveys was executed through computer assisted telephone interviews at Norstat.
WEIGHTING OF ESTABLISHMENT SURVEY
Establishment survey is weighted to balance bias stemming from sampling and refusal. The source of weighting matrix is data from Statistisk Sentralbyrå (SSB) and align the universes are implemented at PPM panel. Since the establishment survey represents inhabitants that are at least 10 years of age living in private households, the population data also reflects this segment of the society.
The following categories are used in the weighting process:
- Age (10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65+)
- Education (Kids up to 16 year old, below upper secondary, upper secondary, higher education up to 4 year, higher education more than 4 year)
- Type of area (urban, other)
- Household size (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or more members)
The weighting methodology was an iterative, so called RIM weighting procedure.
The Establishment Survey will deliver a regular update of the radio market and will be refreshed annually. In conducting the Establishment Survey in two waves throughout the year, we ensure a regular fresh sampling frame for sample recruitment.
UNIVERSE OF MEASUREMENT
In order to report accurate figures for the population’s audio consumption, it is of great importance that the composition of the people measured is representative of the universe we are to describe. The universe of PPM panel—similarly to the Establishment Survey—is the resident population of Norway aged 10 and older and living in private households.
The data to be used for panel balancing or weighting is available and updated in official government publications, but making them referring to a specified population required some adjustment.
We update each universe on Jan. 1 of each year. Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger, Bærum, Kristiansand, Fredrikstad, Tromsø, Sandnes, Drammen, Sandefjord, Asker, Sarpsborg, Skien, Skedsmo, Bodø, Ålesund, Tønsberg, Arendal, Larvik, Halden, Horten, Molde, Kristiansund, Haugesund, Lillehammer, Hamar, Gjøvik, Fjell, Askøy, Moss, Porsgrunn, Alta, Førde, Sogndal, Lørenskog, Oppegård, Kongsberg, Harstad, Ringerike.
An encoder, available in analog, digital (AES), and multi-channel digital (AES) varieties, inserts an inaudible audio watermark in the participating parties program material. The watermark, later decoded by the PPM, contains both a unique station identifier as well as a broadcast timestamp. This unique code makes it easy to identify which station the panelist have been listening to even when several stations have the same broadcast content. To distinguish measurement by delivery platform (i.e., DAB, web, TV) the broadcast facility would install a separate encoder (or separate input to the multi-channel digital encoder) on each platform stream to be measured.
The PPM encoding solution additionally offers the flexibility of encoding on multiple layers. A national broadcast could be watermarked with a network layer station identifier while each local feed could be watermarked with a unique local layer station identifier. These watermarks can both be applied to the same audio. Having both layers present will allow for a better understanding of the National audience through the network layer watermark, while still providing the local/regional affiliates a view of their audiences through analysis of the local layer watermark assigned to them.
The Personal People Meter
The small PPM device is carried all day by the panel members. It picks up the inaudible code included in all broadcasts and reports the listening overnight via the telecom network. The high-quality microphone in the PPM is designed to detect broadcasts with the encoded signal, and it captures listening even in challenging acoustic environments (close to a human ear). The meter captures motion data via an internal accelerometer which is used to monitor and confirm panelist compliance with the wear and carry instructions. An algorithm has also been developed and implemented in the PPM unit which, through the motion sensor, captures listening in the car. It also has a Bluetooth-based location detection for in-home and out of home exposure.
The PPM has a green light on the side that shows that it works properly. As motion is detected by the accelerometer the light will remain lit. The green light is an important reminder for the panelists to carry the PPM with them. If they are to leave the PPM somewhere, the light will after a while start to flash to attract attention. If the PPM does not detect any movement the green light will eventually extinguish.
Sampling of Panelists
The Norwegian PPM panel consists of 2,000 reporting panelists.
Any panel should be representative of the universe from which it is selected, both at the time of initial recruitment and thereafter. By representative, Nielsen means that the listening behavior of the panel can be safely used to project the listening behavior of individuals defined in the universe. This can only be achieved if the panel members reflect the range and nature of individuals in the population (universe). Our panel is representative of all individuals aged 10+ that reside in private homes in Norway. The panel excludes institutionalized population: residents of hotels and homes for elderly people, university campuses and the prison population. It also excludes professionals from advertising and media industries.
As a randomly selected sample cannot be perfectly proportional due to different response rate by demo characteristics, the demographics which have a significant impact on radio listening behavior but implicates different response rate of invited people should be controlled. At the selection of panel control categories the maximizing current control set continuity were also be considered. The panel control variables are below.
At a household level:
- Household size
At an individual level:
- Urban type area
The categories of the variables match with universe estimation categories.
Nielsen implements a household flooding-based recruitment strategy, through which we recruit all members of the household to participate in the measurement. These households are recruited based on the needs of the panel and the characteristics of the household members.
Nielsen’s path to selection is as follows:
- Identify and define required variables and include in panel controls;
- Estimate number of required homes;
- All addresses from the establishment and pre-recruitment surveys are uploaded into a Nielsen database and used for panel recruitment
- Calculate an index ranking the potential households to identify members that best improve the construction of the panel;
- Generate a recruitment list for the panel recruiter. The recruiter must follow the sequential order of the list, with no exceptions, and all effort is applied to successfully recruit the selected households.
Nielsen strictly monitors the installed and reported panel balance by panel control groups and will make all reasonable efforts to correct the should it become unbalanced. The final imbalances are corrected by weighting.
Significant shifts in the media environment and in society in general are expected. Therefore, the methodological approach used to monitor radio audiences has to be flexible and be able to adapt to these changes. The panel control and weighting structures should be reviewed at least once every two years, or annually by analyzing audience behavior in the PPM data.
Nielsen has employed a telephone recruitment (CATI) methodology. All recruiters are specially trained for their roles. During the call the full requirements of the PPM panel is explained and a number of screening questions asked to confirm the potential panelist eligibility to participate in the panel. Panelists cannot be participants of any other market research panel, and no member of the household can be employed in a media-related capacity such as advertising, radio production, etc. After screening, more detailed home information is gathered, including all characteristics that are a part of our panel control variables, panel weighing variables, and reporting segments.
The recruiter is required to explain the service and explain the installation process as well as the panel incentive scheme. The recruiter will also explain the procedure on how to sign an online confidentiality agreement. Upon the successful completion of the recruitment interview, a work order is placed and PPM welcome kit is prepared and mailed to all eligible members of the household individual.
Panel Instructions for Carrying and Compliance
After receiving their PPM Panelist Welcome Kit, panelists are coached to wear or carry the PPM every day, from “rise to retire.” The meter captures motion data via an internal accelerometer which is used to monitor and confirm panelist compliance with the wear and carry instructions. Panelists 20+ are considered in-tab for that media day if the meter has 8+ hours of motion and no technical faults. Motion time requirements are not communicated to panelists. Children 10-19 are considered in-tab for that media day if they have 5+ hours of motion and no technical faults. Panelists who do not meet motion requirements are coached to encourage their participation. Various contact methods are used to encourage participation including phone calls, emails, text messages and positive reinforcement. The panelists earn 1 point for every 10 minutes they wear the PPM. Special incentives are used to encourage participation during holidays and summer months when panelists may not follow their normal habits. Only known compliers – those that are intab—are included in the ratings each media day. Those panelists that are not intab for that media day are not included in the ratings. Our radio and PPM specialists review other technical and behavioral data that the PPM sends to provide insights into panelists compliance and proper meter operation.
The PPM measures wired headphone listening through the use of a headphone adapter. The adapter, which connects to the PPM meter via the micro-USB connector has both a male and female 3.5mm audio connector. The male end is designed to connect to the source device while the female side allows the panelist to connect his/her headphones. When in use, audio is passed through the adapter directly to the headphones with a copy also made available to the PPM via the micro-USB connection. The PPM meter decodes and logs and watermarks embedded in that audio stream while also recording the date/time in which a panelist connects and disconnects the PPM headphone adapter from the PPM.
Panelists on Travel
For panelists who are traveling within Norway: the panelists are instructed to bring their meters with them (including second homes in the country). For panelists traveling abroad (outside of Norway): panelists are coached to notify the panel teams know and leave their meters at home. Panelists are flagged as “on vacation” and be included in the data as 0 listeners. The remainder of the family will be measured as normal.
In-home, out-of-home listening and second home listening
The solution leverages the use of in-home beacons, provided to panelists along with their meters to record meter presence in the home. The in-home beacon, which utilizes Bluetooth technology, plugs into a standard wall outlet in the home. It is always on and features a Bluetooth address that the PPM can use to validate its authenticity as a Nielsen in home beacon. Once validated the meter logs the detection of the beacon and sets a flag to note the time the meter moved in home. This data flows through to our processing systems and allows us to report and differentiate between listening that took place inside the home, outside the home, and as a total. The measurement also includes measuring and reporting listening that happens in second homes with a separate beacon. Ownership of second home will not be used as a panel control. We assume participation by the panelists to place the location beacons in these additional locations is optional and not mandatory. From Jan. 1, 2020, Nielsen also measures in-car listening. An algorithm has been developed and implemented in the PPM device that captures this type of listening using the motion sensor in the PPM device.
It is critical that the identity and characteristics of installed individuals are kept confidential and made available only if necessary. An agreement is signed at the point of installation guaranteeing that Nielsen will maintain the individual’s data in a confidential manner, while also requesting individuals keep their membership private in line with the Norwegian Law.
The file linking panel numbers to names and addresses is secure from unauthorized access and levels of access are granted to users based on the information they require. The system offers different levels of access to users, so that only certain users would have the ability to amend the file. For additional security, the file is encrypted. This is a double safeguard process to ensure the confidentiality of panel member information. If the disclosure of panel member addresses is required (for an external audit, etc.) then parties will be required to sign confidentiality statements and are only given access to information they strictly require to perform their tasks.
The incentives for individuals that are participating in the Norwegian Radio Audience Measurement will be a combination of a fixed incentive and an added points based incentive for meeting the required PPM wear and carry requirements. Examples include:
- Welcome present: initial bonus for entering the panel
- Monthly base: fixed amount for participating in the panel
- Weekly earned based on meeting required points
- 90-day bonus: fixed amount earned for staying in the panel for 90-days
- One-year anniversary bonus: fixed amount for staying in the panel for a year
Nielsen aggregates the points and gives the panelists the opportunity to exchange the points for vouchers and gift cards via an external partner: GoGift.
Panel Replacement and Turnover
Nielsen will replace at least 20% of the panel annually (except for the first year of the service).
There are a variety of reasons for panel turnover, including:
- Natural turnover: Losing homes that do not want to participate in the panel any more
- Panel Balance Enforced Turnover: These are households that are within an over-represented control cell
- Quality Control Enforced Turnover: If a person or home consistently needs calling to be re-educated on the compliance rules and behavior does not improve, Nielsen terminates the relationship
- Expiration Based Turnover: Homes and panelists are forced out after a set period of time. Normally, this ranges from two to three years but can be adjusted according to industry preferences.
PPM DATA EDITING
Minute by Minute Granularity
Nielsen’s PPM solution is designed to report data at a granular level, and will measure and report the contracting party’s data on a minute by minute level basis. The PPM meter logs the Media Detections Events (MDEs) at 15-second intervals. These MDEs go through a series of media edit rules to create media episodes. A media episode is listening to a particular media code (encoder at a station) for a period of time (or interval of time). There are two media edit rules that convert the 15-second intervals and round it to a minute level resolution. These edit rules are:
- Convert 15 to 30 Second Rule: Applies business rule to convert 15-second interval to 30-second interval.
- Round to Minute Rule: Applies business rule to round the data to a minute level resolution.
The PPM system determines and reports time shifted listening by comparing the detection time on the PPM meter to the encoded timestamp that is part of the eCBET watermark. The encoded timestamp included in the watermark represents the time that content was originally broadcast. This timestamp, which has a granularity of 1 minute, is embedded as a value that represents the number of minutes that have surpassed since a known date and time (epoch date).
PPM data logs returned nightly to the collection server contain both the time of the watermark detection, as well as the embedded encoder timestamp in the watermark. As this data is processed and listening records are created, both of these timestamps are analyzed to make a decision on whether the record will be reported as live or time-shifted listening.
For time shifted listening, each day we deliver only the incremental listening that occurred up to seven days from the original broadcast. Time shifted listening on the same day as live is reported as live.
The PPM can detect the encoded broadcasts even when placed in the docking station. As long as the panelist is considered intab for the day, the listening is reported.
A lead-in edit of up to 60 seconds is applied to the data to allow for lag in detection, where a listening statement is preceded by blank time.
Location data (in-home, out of home, in-car, and second home) is merged with media data at the minute-level based on meter clock time of both data streams. Continuous media streams are split if their duration is associated with more than one location.
In addition to the compliance and panelist related controls described above, Nielsen’s system supports multiple levels of monitoring and alerting for any errors that occur:
- Automated infrastructure and application monitoring are in place to alert support teams of any issues or errors that impact production
Decision to monitor encoding falls with the broadcasters. Nielsen’s PPM solution highly recommends that participating broadcasters monitor live linear feeds to ensure the encoders are properly inserting media codes. Broadcasters are asked to install a hardware encoding monitor, the multi-channel encoding monitor. This monitor provides the capability to monitor four unique signals in a 1RU box and alert the broadcaster through a variety of means (SNMP, web interface, relay closure) to any potential encoding issues. The broadcasters have been advised to connect this monitor into their stations alarm system to be immediately notified of any encoding issues as the responsibility to maintain an encoded signal will be that of the broadcaster.
Once the daily production is finished, a series of Quality Control (QC) checks are made by a dedicated team before releasing data to the market and clients. The checks are put in place before every deliverable so as to prevent unduly redelivery of data. Once checks are completed, an official summary is produced and delivered to the Nielsen Operations team in Norway. In case of a failure of a critical QC check, the Severity 1 process will be initiated, allowing all the needed resources to be allocated for a timely response.
All requested data is backed up on a daily frequency leveraging our offline cloud storage solution. Retrieval of the backups can be performed on a per request basis using Nielsen’s internal tools.
DATA PROCESSING AND WEIGHTING
Media day is defined as 3:00:00 a.m. to 2:59:59 a.m. local Norwegian time. Each night after the close of the media day the PPM meters call into the collections portal. The polling window is set to 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. in the morning for Norway. For data that is not collected during the window (i.e., due to out of range of network, dead battery, etc.) the meter retry every 12 hours until data is successfully polled (if it cannot connect it reboots). PPMs are enabled with roaming-capable SIM cards that leverage the data networks.
To ensure all relevant sample is included, late arriving data from the meters is included in the data for up to seven days following the close of the media day. On the seventh day following collection, the data is considered final. In other words, data is re-stated, reprocessed and re-published for the trailing seven days following the close of the media day, each day.
Data Validation and Editing
Once the data for all meters has been polled and listening statements produced, the data from these individuals is passed through data processing. This system validates the data and then weights it to reflect the population and their listening choices. The process is completed each day and concludes with the delivery of data. The next step is the validation and it comprises of two phases: validating and editing.
Listening data is first validated and edited. Those individuals who pass the validation and editing stage are then moved onto the next stage in the production process. This is the weighting stage, where each individual receives a unique ‘weight’ denoting how many members of the universe each represents on any given day.
This achieves two objectives:
- Expanding the panel listening data to the universe, to give estimates of the total audience;
- Correcting for any imbalances in the demographic profile of the listening panel compared to the universe.
Imbalances may arise and the weighting scheme will use an algorithm which ensures that individual’s weighting takes into account several characteristics of that individual at the same time. Weighting is performed daily.
Nielsen use the method of RIM weighting. In RIM Weighting, also called “Random iterative Method” or scaling, balancing weights are computed for each weighting variable in turn, on a marginal basis. The resulting cells are much larger, more variables can be weighed and the incidents of zero (empty) interlaced cells is avoided. After a number of iterations through the list of weighting variables, all become simultaneously balanced.
The weighting variable are the followings:
- Gender by age (10-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-65, 65+)
- Education (Below upper secondary, Upper secondary, Higher education up to four years, Higher education more than four year, kids up to 16 year old)
- Type of area (urban, other)
To produce commercial and editorial logs, broadcasters deliver post-logs by no later than 9 AM in order to be reported by 12:00 noon for the previous day. Broadcasters upload post-logs to a directory on a Nielsen server. Once delivered, our post-logs processing system will format the post-logs into a common format, apply our internal quality controls, and pass it downstream to produce commercial and editorial logs. The logs contain data like the station, data, start time, end time or duration, etc.
Nielsen provides the daily data files in a standardized open format containing required fields that can also be consumed by third-party software. This will include a mapping of all measured stations and markets and listening estimates for all panelists.
OVERNIGHT AUDIENCE DELIVERY AND LOG DATA REPORTING
Data is produced every week day (Monday-Friday) excluding official holidays and weekends.
Nielsen delivers overnight audience data at approximately 9:00 a.m. for the prior media day and the overnight data with logs before 12:00 noon for the previous day.
All overnight and times-shifted listening datasets will be available through agreed reporting software, for analysis along with the aggregated metrics and RLD data.
- Daily data sets are also available in an open pre-defined format for other analysis software provider.
- The public site is also enabled for mobile browsers
Reprocessed data including data that is reprocessed due to late-arriving data from the meters overwrites any previous data delivered (so there is only one version of the truth at any given time).
DYNAMIC AD INSERTIONS
From January 2020, dynamically inserted targeted advertising (DIA) may occur in web feeds from the following stations: P4-group stations. For the sake of measurement accuracy, Nielsen has set a maximum limit of two minutes of DIA per hour per station. All stations that at any time exceed this limit in the course of a media day will be asked to report their Dab and web distribution feeds separately, with separate spot logs for GRP reporting. Audio broadcasters using audience-targeted spots are required to report volume to Nielsen and the Media Owner Committee (MOC) for the Norwegian Radio Audience measurement. The MOC is responsible for monitoring and alerting Nielsen when a station may exceed the agreed maximum limit per hour.
Listening in car has been reported as a separate variable, inCAR from Jan. 1, 2020.
Bauer Media has changed name on station Juleradioen to P24-7 KOS. Change active from Dec. 25 2019.
Bauer Media has added a new station, Bauer Pluss, as a combined variable of their individual web only Pluss-stations. The station will be active in public datasets as from March 26, 2020.
NRK NEWS BROADCAST
Due to the novel coronavirus crisis, NRK has allowed stations that are part of the Norsk Lokalradioforbund (The Norwegian local radio association) to broadcast news content from NRK P1 for a limited time period. Change active from March 18, 2020.
Software Development Kit
In addition to the PPM-centric solution outlined above, we will be providing Nielsen’s Digital Software Development Kit (SDK) as a component of the measurement to address the unique characteristics of the digital audio landscape in Norway. The SDK combines digital audio measurement with clear, global-standard methodology, allowing clients to measure the total reach of radio listening. Additionally, Nielsen’s data produced by the SDK gives broadcasters the insight to accurately quantify the size and nature of their online audience on smartphones, tablets and computers. As per Jan. 1, 2019, the digital listening numbers measured by the SDK is reported to the participating broadcasters only.
The new solution will be used to measure and report all audio listening across mobile apps and web players, regardless of ad model and device—smartphones, tablets and computers. Most importantly, it creates a platform and foundation to properly address the ever-changing landscape of audio consumption.
SDK data is delivered to clients daily (excluding weekends and holidays). Each client is given unique access to a S3 bucket that houses both the official data for the market, and unofficial data for their owned content.
Participating audio owners have integrated the SDK on their digital platforms, which in-turn allows Nielsen to deliver volumetric reporting of digital audio content consumed through mobile and web-enabled devices. The SDK deliverable is a volumetric delivery.
Here are the reports and fields that will be reported via the digital SDK.
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