A five-point formula has been offered by channel owners to TAM and advertisers to amicably resolve the issue of credibility of TAM ratings that had made many prominent broadcasters to unsubscribe TAM services.
With the BARC rating system likely to take a year or even two to be put in place, advertisers were left with no benchmark by which to allocate advertising expenditure on television, which is close to Rs.14,000 crore a year, and growing at 8-10% a year.
With that much at stake, advertisers wanted a compromise solution.
In India, TAM Media Research is a joint venture between Nielsen (India) Pvt. Ltd and Kantar Market Research.
Five point solution circulated by the TV channels includes monthly data on viewership. The weekly ratings, they say, often show wild variations.
Secondly, broadcasters are asking TAM to use an increased audience base considering India is adding television viewers every year. For 2013, TAM is using a cable and satellite TV household base of 140 million. Broadcasters feel the number should be much higher.
Broadcasters have also asked the agency to provide audience measurements in numbers and not percentages. Since the number of people metres installed in the country is very small, percentages can be misleading. Television channel executives say that instead of advertising agencies using cost per rating point (since television ratings are measured in percentages) to evaluate advertising rates, they should use cost per thousand (people), which is measured in actual numbers.
Broadcasters expect a higher ad rate because they feel while the rating of a show may have dropped, the absolute number of viewers has gone up.
Another proposal is linked to audience segmentation. Again, since the sample size is very small, any audience segment that is not captured by at least 30 people meters should not be reported. Lastly, TAM will have to work under the supervision of BARC’s technical committee.
However, official announcement of these developments has not come forward from any of the stakeholders.