TAM Media Research is in the process of completing the annual exercise of its universe update. In line with this exercise, TAM Media Research had included digital viewership numbers in 2007, and the 2010 universe update includes the new digital estimates for both urban and rural India. This is in addition to updates on television households and cable and satellite households. With this update, TAM would be covering 225 million of the 450-500 million viewers in India.
LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, informed exchange4media that TAM would be adding more markets to its mix in 2010 and this would include north and west markets.
Digital contributes to overall C&S growth; Rural contributes to digital
A quick snapshot of the numbers from the study, which TAM Media Research undertook independently with IMRB and Nielsen, show that digital households have grown by 28 per cent as compared to last year. While digital households were at 15 million in 2009, they are at 20 million in 2010. C&S households were at 90 million last year, and have grown to 103 million this year, recording a 15 per cent increase. TV owning households have grown by 9 per cent and are at 134 million in 2010, while the total households are at 223 million households.
The study also shows that of the overall digital population, in urban India there are 6 million digital households, while there are 14 million in rural India, indicating that digital has overcome the problems that C&S was facing in rural areas. That said, if the overall C&S households are seen, there are 54 million in urban areas as compared to 49 million in rural areas. Rural markets have around 21 million non C&S households and this takes the number of TV homes in rural markets to 70 million, while in urban markets, that number is only at 64 million.
For both urban and rural, the growth in digital is coming from pay DTH.
Elaborating further on the findings, Krishnan said, “There is a big jump in C&S households and digital has played a key role in giving it this boost. This has significant implications for the industry. From our viewpoint, while we would keep updating the universe, it is important for the industry to come together and plan ahead on how we can cover the entire 450-500 million viewers in India in one way or the other.”
Settling of previous initiatives
TAM undertook several initiatives in the past few years that are now settling in well and helping in deriving long-term trends. Some initiatives of 2009 alone included the introduction of a ‘semi-urban’ market – Maharashtra Less-than-Class1, Bihar and Assam; local market reporting by extending the list of metros to individually report Pune and Ahmedabad, in addition to the top six metros. The initiatives also included splitting markets into finer units like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Punjab separately from the PHCHP market-group and the updated universe estimates, in particular, updated digital estimates.
The digital estimates are coming from TAM’s Digital Establishment Survey (DES). DES was commenced in 2007, when digital was at the threshold of its explosive growth. The DES, now in its fourth round of release, has tracked the growth of digital broadcast ever since its inception. It is undertaken across urban and rural India and captures data on digital subscribers such as platform ownership and source of awareness of digital.