In the wake a new measurement system for the TV broadcast industry about to launch (BARC) and with stakeholders from the advertising, media and broadcasting fraternity pledging their support to BARC, the future of earlier TV metric system by TAM seems bleak. Many TAM subscribers such as broadcasters and media agencies have either not renewed their subscription or have sent notices for the discontinuation of TAM’s ratings services.
This brings to question what is the way forward for TAM? Recently, LV Krishnan, CEO of TAM has suggested that they are looking at integrated measurement across cross-media platforms and are going to focus on geo-centric measurement.
However, though Krishnan asserted the possibility of existence of two currencies for TV measurement in the market, it increasingly seems more unlikely to happen.
We asked media planners on their opinion on the way forward for TAM. Many believe that though its relevance in television measurement might decrease, the way forward would be to adopt and create measurement systems in areas where there is a gap. Though revenues of TAM are likely to take a hit once the new systems of measurement system is in place, in areas such as cross-media platforms, if TAM’s measurement systems are put well into place, it might see more takers eventually.
Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network said, “There are a few things people will have to buy from TAM, one is the historical data, which has been worked out in terms of certain rates for the last three years’ data. Then is RAM which is the radio broadcasting ratings and the TAM Adex data. These line streams will be open to them. I don’t know how television will work for them because I think most of the industry will go to BARC. But I am sure there are certain niches and other areas that they can come up with because it is a good organisation. No doubt when such a large part of your revenue goes away, television is a large part of their revenue, then the organisation needs to reinvent itself and I am sure they will be able to do it.”
As BARC will not be able to provide historical data for the past couple of years, there are deals being worked with media agencies and TAM in order that they can provide more in depth media plans. Therefore, TAM is not likely to disappear soon even in terms of television ratings as dependency will still exist on them. There is also the fact that Kantar Media, the parent organisation of TAM owns the watermarking technology which BARC is using and hence may play a significant role in things to come.
According to Balakrishna P.M., COO, Allied Media the option for TAM is only to reinvent and in measurement in areas such as across cross-media platforms is always welcomed. “I don’t see what option do they have but to explore these kind of options and they will be welcome. Any new insight and any new element or research which helps give more targeted and in depth information on media is always welcome. The question is always going to be how robust is it? How credible is it? All those things need to be analysed and studied. But it is definitely a requirement and need in an area which currently there is a gap. So I am sure if they are able to provide data in a very robust manner it will be welcomed.”
Similarly, another senior media planner has felt that there would still be a dependence on TAM for historic data and certain other metric systems. Once TAM moves into systems such as cross-media platforms measurement and geo-centric measurement it will help the industry but added that it would have to be robust in order for it have more takers.
As a main source of revenue for TAM moves away, the organisation will definitely have to reinvent itself. But currently the industry will still have a dependence on TAM for data for which there is no other source.