Global information and media outfit VNU and WPP-promoted AGB Group’s decision to jointly provide television ratings across the world, establish that the TAM model – a joint venture of Nielsen and WPP’s Kantar Media Group (present in India as IMRB), is a beneficial one. “The model worked in India and for the same reasons, it makes sense for powerful international bodies to unite and work towards the same goal,” expresses LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research.
At the global level, VNU’s subsidiary Nielsen Media Research International has formed a JV with AGB Group. This body will offer television ratings in 30 countries under the AGB Nielsen Media Research brand name.
Explaining more on this venture, Michael P Connors, Chairman and CEO of VNU’s Media Measurement & Information Group, says, “This new combination of Nielsen Media Research and the AGB Group creates an ideal platform to serve our clients better – from local companies to large multinational players. It’s a strategic fit, one that capitalises on the strengths of our companies, and allows us to deliver to clients better insights about viewing habits.”
A point that is brought to the fore by Krishnan as well: “A union of this nature brings together the best in technology and people power and then forms a strong and reliable single currency that the industry can depend on.” He explains that a single currency of measurement is a better one simply because the scale of operation here doesn’t necessarily translate competition into profits.
He elucidates, “The television ratings pie is a small one, where revenues and profitability are low. In such a scene, competition is required if the industry is not bettering itself. When it is, competition only creates competition and diverts focus from improving services.”
The transaction merges the wholly owned television audience measurement services of Nielsen Media Research International and those of the AGB Group. The TV ratings services offered by Nielsen in the United States are not part of the transaction. Taken together, the combination of the AGB Group and Nielsen Media Research and Nielsen’s other partners will support clients in 46 countries that represent more than 70 percent of the global television economy.
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2004. VNU and Kantar noted that there are virtually no overlaps between AGB Group’s TV ratings coverage and Nielsen’s international footprint. Some of the major markets covered by the ratings services of the new company will include Australia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom.