The ratings mechanism in the broadcast industry has been at the centre of controversy since some time now. Different stakeholders have a different viewpoint over the use of methodology to measure the RoI of media spend.
While most advertisers and media agencies are pitching for Cost Per Ratings Point (CPRP), broadcasters are pitching for Cost Per Thousand (CPT) methodology to measure the impact of TV ad campaigns.
Mayank Shah, Group Product Manager, Parle Products said, “Broadcasters are trying to justify the increase in their prices through CPT model. It is easy to increase prices in the CPT model as compared to the CPRP. In the CPRP model, more weightage is given to the amount of time and stickiness of the audience. I am not against CPT, but we need to have a robust ratings mechanism in place first. There is a huge question of the stickiness factor in the CPT module. CPRP takes care of stickiness or the amount of time audience spends watching the advertisement.”
Industry experts opine that the CPT model, though effective and vibrant, is not rightly timed in the industry. They first recommend that a robust ratings mechanism should fall in place. It is highly believed in the advertising and media planning fraternity that India is not prepared for CPT module in measuring effective media spends as of now. While in print (where measurement is usually done through CPT), a reader at least looks over the advertisement, but in the TV space, one has the power to switch over channels. Experts are speculative over how would a media planner come to know about effective viewership measurement? They feel that reach of a channel does not necessarily mean the advertising viewership has also enhanced.
Some broadcasters are firm over the fact that the CPT methodology is the need of the hour and advertisers should resort to the same. They feel that the industry needs to rise to the global standards where CPT is the standard procedure for measuring RoI. But advertisers feel that the industry metrics needs to be set right first and until then one should stay with the CPRP module.
Anand Chakravarthy, EVP, Marketing and Business, RBNL said, “In the current scenario, CPT is far better than any other mechanism. At the end of the day, advertisers need exposure and that is accurately measured in CPT model. The mechanism not only is accurate but is also in term with modern needs. CPRP is an old mechanism of measurement.”
Rohit Gupta, President, Network Sales, MSM Network said, “The CPRP percentage rating is an archaic method. Advertisers buy eyeballs and not ratings. The measurement has to be absolute. Isn’t print media measured through CPT? The media consumption in India is growing but CPRP does not take that into consideration. The base sample rate remains the same there. One has to uplift itself to the global standards. Advertisers want more accurate measurement of their reach and that is what we are giving them through CPT model. In the CPRP module, the ratings get fragmented. The spends have to be justified through apt reach.”
Media planners though are standing by the advertisers and are pitching for the CPRP module as of now.
Anindya Ray, Senior VP, Lodestar UM shared, “There is no locus in the CPT module. In print media, one has a readership. So if one reads newspaper, it is expected that he is watching advertisement as well. But in case of TV, the ratings of commercial breaks and that of programmes witness an almost 25 per cent drop. While the CPT measures reach, the TVR measures audience visibility. In case of CPT, visibility goes for a toss. In a scenario like today where 9500 people-meters are installed to measure the viewership of 80 million TV households, it is not a wise step to adopt the CPT module.”
Arshad Nizam, Director, Alliance Advertising stated, “CPT is a good methodology, but there has to be a clarity and understanding of the metrics first. Unless there is no clarity over the metric system, I would go ahead with the CPRP module only. He further added. “There has to be a consensus among broadcasters as well. CPT model might benefit the channels which have a high reach. But in a time where a business channel has been depicted as a zero rating channel, how would the CPT model work? I believe first the metric system ambiguity needs to be cleared and then one can think of choosing CPT or CPRP.”
As developments in the TAM ratings row move further, the tussle between CPRP and CPT module is likely to get more intense. In the long run though, experts predict that the CPT model would be the feasible thing to do, but CPRP is right for the moment.