To create a single currency and improve the quality of data, TAM India has announced creation of a new service. This new service will combine data from ACNielsen/Kantar’s TAM Media Research and ORG-MARG’s INTAM. Coverage is expected to increase from nine states currently to 15 states. To understand the implications, exchange4media spoke with Mr. LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM India who is also expected to lead this venture.
e4m EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Mr. LV Krishnan
Q. Why are you combining your TV ratings services with ORG-MARG’s?
A. Our plans call for combining the TV ratings data of TAM Media (a 50-50 JV between AC Nielsen and Kantar) and those of ORG-MARG.
The combined service will provide significant additional coverage of the Indian TV market. It will cover more states (15 versus 9) and virtually 100% of urban areas. We believe this expanded coverage will help improve the process of buying and selling commercial time, as well as making programming decisions.
Q. As a part of this additional coverage, how many more cities and households will you cover versus the current two services?
A. We are currently developing our plans as to the number of cities and households that will part of the new service. But clearly, the new, combined service will offer significantly enhanced coverage versus that offered by either of the two services currently.
Q. You describe this as a “new” JV between AC Nielsen and Kantar. How does it differ from the old one?
A. The new JV will be jointly controlled by Ac Nielsen and Kantar, as was the previous one. However, the new venture will offer a combined TV ratings service with greater audience coverage, and it will also include ORG-MARG’s advertising information business, covering both Television and print advertising.
Q. Is ORG-MARG transferring its TV ratings business to the JV?
A. We will be working to develop detailed plans for the combined service over the next few weeks, and will be sharing those plans with the industry in due course. Keep in mind this is not a merger between the JV and ORG-MARG. It is a combination of two ratings services designed to produce a single set of TV ratings for the Indian marketplace.
Q. We have heard that you will purchase TV ratings data from ORG-MARG. How much are you paying for the data?
A. We are still developing our plans for the combined service, so we’re unable to comment on any specifics at this time.
Q. Are the data compatible? Will you have to incur additional costs to combine the data from the two different services?
A. We believe that the data will be compatible since both the systems collect basically the same minute-by-minute viewing information. Still. Processing costs may rise, but we won’t know for sure until we begin the integration.
Q. Now that you’ll be offering the only TV ratings service in India, will you raise your prices?
A. It would be premature to comment on pricing at this stage. Clearly, however, the new service, with its expanded coverage, will offer more valuable information to our clients.
Q. We understand that your competitor, Taylor Nelson Sofres, has a technology agreement with ORG-MARG. How will this affect the pending combination of your TV ratings services?
A. Taylor Nelson Sofres does provide technical support to ORG-MARG, and we expect ORG-MARG will continue to use that support.
Q. You mentioned that the new JV will also offer an advertising information service. Is this a combination of services from AC Nielsen, Kantar and ORG-MARG?
A. Yes. ORG-MARG’s service will be added to TAM media’s to create the leading advertising information service in India. The combined service will, cover more than 90% of the total spending on TV and print advertising in India.
Q. Once the merger is completed, what will be the name of the new JV company?
A. The names of the new venture and the new TV ratings service have not yet been determined.
Q. Currently, how many cities and homes do you have in your TV audience panels? How many cities and homes does ORG-MARG have in its panels?
A. The current AC Nielsen – Kantar JV covers approximately 3,450 metered homes in 29 cities. ORG-MARG currently has 4,150 metered homes in 49 cities.
Q. We understand that you will be reducing the number of metered homes and cities in your combined service. By how much and why?
A. After eliminating duplicate operations, the combined service will actually offer broader coverage. It will cover more states (15 versus current 9) and virtually 100% of the urban areas (versus about 50% of urban areas now covered by each service).
Q. In eliminating duplicate operations, do you expect that there will be redundancies? If so, how many people will loose their jobs? What type of jobs will be affected? Where are these jobs located?
A. Detailed plans for the combined service will take shape over the next few weeks. It is too early to know if there will be any redundancies.