After 15 years of using TAM (Television Audience Measurement) media research data for assessing TV viewership, television and advertising industries have switched to a new system on Wednesday, with Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) releasing its first data.
The data released by BARC, a joint venture between the TV and advertising industry, shows Star Plus as the leading Hindi general entertainment channel in the country (Hindi-speaking markets), Zee as strong in regional channels like Telugu and Marathi, Aaj Tak leading in Hindi news (Hindi-speaking markets) and Times Now on top in English newscategory (All India).
Like every year, IPL days have put Sony Max back in a strong position while Viacom has seen its Colors Kannada emerge as a market leader in the huge Kannada marketwithits kids channelNick ruling the kids category (All India). Discovery led the infotainment category (All India). In English business channels, (NCCS A)ETNowis the leader.
"The base for the much awaited BARC data is the New Consumer Classification System (NCCS), which is very different from the earlier one. The new SEC system will enable smarter decision-making processes with the new socioeconomic consumer classification.
So,when you read BARC data you have to understand that it represents present day India in all its realities. For example, as per the datawe have—46%of TV-owning households are in NCCS A and B. This is borne out by the consumerism and aspirations we see in India today. In theTVhouseholduniverse in our system, Kerala has seven 1 million plus towns versus only one in the erstwhile system based on 2001 census," said BARC CEO,Partho Dasgupta.
This first data released byBARC includes 1 lakh + C&S markets which corresponds to a sample size of 10,760 households. BARC India will actually monitor 12,000 sample households for this, using a stratified random sampling technique that is proven statistically.
This will go up to 20,000 reporting homes, with addition of the less than 1 lakh urban markets and rural areas to represent "What India Watches" in line with the Government of India,January 2014 notification.
With over 300 channels being watermarked with this world's leading technology for measurement, BARC India relies heavily on the technology backbone, which is state of art.
Technology will also help BARC India to be future ready and increase robustness."With an aim to bring in utmost transparency within the ecosystem,BARCIndia will certainly be the best solution to report what the nation is actually watching," said Punit Goenka, chairman BARC India as well asMD&CEO, Zee.
Originally planned in 2008, BARC was to be set up with the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF)and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) alone in a 60:40 ratio with an initial invest ment of Rs 30 crore.
"The credibility factor with BARC is a huge positive. All the stakeholders are in with BARC, so there will be no skepticism like in the past,"MSM president Rohit Gupta toldETa day before the release of the data.
But like Sanjay Gupta,COO Star said on Tuesday, the big change will come in June in Phase II."But for now, the redefinition of SEC to NCCS will give sharper insights since BARC has linked it to consumers. This will give consumer insights and unlock value for advertisers." Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, South Asia at Dentsu Aegis Network, said that once BARC goes to the rural level things might change because one will actually get to know what India is watching.
"At the moment, in the current system, we only knew what a few towns, or a few large cities we watching. The new system might throw up differences that may make people change their strategies in the long term," said Bhasin. He expects that rural coverage may be interesting to see if there is a change in the pecking order.