Amidst immense speculation of the coming together of TAM and BARC doing industry rounds since the last few months, the announcement of TAM and BARC forming a JV for the creation of a new meter management company comes as no surprise .
This will run the meter operations and will supply raw data to BARC India. Meters will be deployed based on BARC’s sample design and the ratings will be computed and disseminated through BARC India’s software. This ratings data will be the sole trading currency for the country, aiming to give advertisers, broadcasters and agencies accurate and quality measurement.
Describing it as good news for the Indian broadcasting industry, Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO of Viacom18 , said, “With BARC consolidating all the video audience measurement assets, we are happy that stakeholders will have a greatly improved view on reach and impact. The aggregation of people meters and panel management powered by BARC’s technology gives us an effective measurement system that expedites the solution on geographical coverage, sample size, and rural-urban reporting.”
This JV dispels the existence of two different currencies with distinct measurement metrics, thus easing ratings interpretation for broadcasters and media planners. BARC will be able to use TAM’s established expertise in the domain as well as its meters.
Calling it a step in the right direction, Sam Balsara, Chairman and MD of Madison World says, “It eliminates possible confusion in the market because of 2 currencies and enables BARC to scale up cost effectively by putting the additional meters to good and effective use. It enables BARC to have ready access to trained people in the field. The move ensures that a large number of people don’t go out of their jobs. There are sufficient checks and balances in place to ensure that BARC in course of time will discharge its responsibilities honourably.”
The meter company will have the meter assets and panel management operations of the present BARC India and TAM India panels, which will be jointly owned by BARC India, Nielsen and Kantar with management control resting with BARC India. To start with, the company will have 34,000 meters covering all of India, and will supply raw data to BARC, which will use its own statistical processes and sampling design.
Speaking on the move, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network said, “I think it’s great that BARC & TAM have joined forces for the meters because definitely we don’t need two currencies for television ratings and BARC is the officially accepted ratings currency for the industry to use. Moreover, it is also good that the TAM meters will get utilized because that will help speed up the process of scaling to the meters required for BARC, so that the entire country can be quickly covered. We now look forward to robust viewership data, covering the entire country, and are particularly looking forward to rural data commencing soonest.”
Anita Nayyar, CEO of Havas Media Group (India and South Asia stated the JV seemed inevitable. “We almost saw this coming. The integration will make the output more robust. TAM's expertise will only add value. It is always good to have one measurement system which is robust and accurate. Since the broadcasters opted for the new measurement it should have a positive impact on the industry.”