On Thursday, BARC India, the television rating company formed by broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers and TAM India, the television audience measurement joint venture between Nielsen and Kantar, announced the formation of a new meter management company. This will run the meter operations and will supply raw data to BARC India.
This is undoubtedly welcome news for the broadcasting industry and especially for the news broadcasting industry. We spoke to leading broadcasters and asked their opinion on the latest development.
Welcoming the move, M K Anand, MD &CEO, Times Network said, ‘It’s great. The industry has moved to a new system already. The existence of TAM’s boxes and data availability may cause confusion and could have hindered the establishment of the new currency over time. This pre-empts any such possibility. This is also good use of resources. The additional boxes will surely be useful.”
Vikram Chandra, Group CEO, NDTV Group, said "We have long believed that the ratings system in India needs a complete overhaul, and that India needs far more meters in order to correctly measure viewership. We would welcome any steps in this direction."
Ashok Venkatramani, CEO, MCCS feels it is an interesting development and highlighted two very important points. He said, ‘It hopefully would bring out the best of both the systems and help BARC scale up faster.”
One of the most significant results of this merger is the increase in the number of people’s meters. It could have taken BARC, another two to three years to reach the fifty thousand people’s meter mark, but with this merger they have rise to thirty-four thousand marks as of now.
Kartikeya Sharma, MD of iTV Network, also supported the move and spoke about the stability of the data. He said, “I welcome the move and I am in favour of it. We were happy with TAM and we are happy with BARC, as long as stability in the data is good for the industry. It’s good that with this move will lead to increase in the sample size.”
Abhay Ojha, Executive Vice President, Head Sales & Marketing, News Nation see this merger as a good sign and feels it will bring one currency like the industry had in the past.
He said, “With regards to news industry we would now also have data from LC1 markets which is very critical for news industry especially Hindi news, as they are the real engine for growth. The data will now be more collaborative, robust and will have deeper representation and there will be more clarity.”
Vivek Malhotra, VP Marketing, Strategic Planning and Research, Promos , TV Today Network said, “34000 meters as a result of joining forces is indeed a huge leap and fast forwards the industry's dream for most reliable data simultaneously with vast coverage. Decision making tools based on a singular currency, backed by width, depth, consistency are sure to make our understanding of the viewer sharper."
Some say it’s too early to comment
Amit Tripathi, COO, Focus News feels that this merger is very interesting. He said, “In the sense it’s too early to say how it works if BARC continues installing 20 thousand meters as they promised earlier and then they merge with another 14 thousand meters that TAM has. Then the sample size will be very big and the ratings will be good and dynamic.”
Anurradha Prasad, MD and CEO of BAG Network also feel it’s too early to comment. She said, “Let’s see how it shapes and how it impacts.” She also pointed out that with one currency there is no duplicity.