BARC India to turn sole TV audience into measurement company

Friday, Aug 28, 2015

It's possibly the biggest media news of the year. 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 Media, have announced formation of a new meter management company. The firm will run measurement meter operations and supply raw data to BARC India.

With this development, the role of TAM as a composite TV audience measurement agency will end, even as it will be a stakeholder in the new enterprise.

Commenting on the development, Punit Goenka, chairman of BARC India, said, "The technology and methodological prowess of BARC, combined with the extra meters and the field force will definitely help the industry progress."

"This new venture represents our organisation's commitment to providing precise and stable data around the world, and draws strengths from both BARC India and TAM India," said Steve Hasker, Global President, Nielsen. "We look forward to the great coverage and representation this new partnership will deliver."

Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, said: "We are happy to cooperate with BARC India to be able to provide clarity and a large single sample for the industry and to keep India as a key market for us."

The meter company will have the meter assets and panel management operations of the present BARC India and TAM India panels, which will be jointly owned by BARC India, Nielsen and Kantar with management control resting with BARC India. To start with, the company will have 34,000 meters covering all of India (22,000 of BARC and 12,000 of TAM), and will supply raw data to BARC, which will use its own statistical processes and sampling design.

Speaking to dna, Shashi Sinha, chairman of the BARC Technical Committee, underscored the benefits a single currency for measurement and that it would serve the needs of the entire broadcast ecosystem.

Commenting on the development, Ashish Bhasin, chairman & CEO, South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, said: "I think it's great that BARC & TAM have joined forces for the meters because definitely we don't need two currencies for television ratings, and BARC is the officially accepted ratings currency for the industry to use. We now look forward to robust viewership data, covering the entire country, and are particularly looking forward to rural data commencing soonest."

Other broadcasters also lauded the move. "It's very good news for the Indian broadcasting industry. The aggregation of people meters and panel management powered by BARC's technology gives us an effective measurement system that expedites the solution on geographical coverage, sample size, and rural-urban reporting," said Sudhandhsu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18.

Meanwhile, commending the contribution of TAM to the broadcast ecosystem over the years, Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC, said that while the term sheet has been signed, the process of integration could take up to six months.

A statement clarified that other TAM India offerings like AdEx - Advertising Expenditure information for TV, print, radio, RAM – the Radio Audience Measurement service, Eikona - PR Audit, TAM Sports Measurement and S-Group Consulting will continue to be owned by the Nielsen-Kantar joint venture.

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