BARC concluded its roadshow for 2014 in Mumbai on 18 September. The session was led jointly by Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC, and Shashi Sinha, chairman - technical committee, BARC.
The duo underlined changes being made in the audience measurement system, and reiterated on BARC being in complete compliance with the guidelines laid out by MIB. Sinha billed the classification as 'urban and urban-plus-rural', a key point in the development of the system.
Dasgupta spoke about the funding on the back of which the system revamp is going on. He said, “Roughly about Rs 225 crore is being invested in this whole process of which about Rs 125 crore is by BARC. But about Rs 100-odd-crore is being done by the broadcasters alone.”
BARC had announced earlier this year about its association with Civolution with which BARC is bringing in the watermarking technology to its audience measurement systems. Dasgupta said, “There are four or five technologies available around the world for audience measurement. With watermarking we’ve taken a two-generation leap. Many other countries want to move towards it but in many places the broadcasters are not co-operating, probably because economies are down and they don’t want to spend that extra money.”
Watermarking would allow BARC to definitively record what kind of content is being watched, discover for how long a duration it has been watched and through which mediums - through a unique embedded code in the signals.
Sinha also spoke on distinct changes that would be seen in the revamped measurement system. He commented, "Bringing in NCCS (New Consumer Classification System), which is a new system according to which households are classified in India, is going to be a key differentiator for us. As instructed, we would be reporting on 'what India watches'. Rural will be reported from day one. When we start reporting we will ensure whatever (data) is not stable will be curtailed. The whole emphasis will be on robustness and reliability of data."
He also stated that the way things are currently in the audience measurement ecosystem, there is a huge level of error and that that is an issue which needs immediate action.
He projected that as the system settles over time, it will develop the capability to provide results on a day-to-day basis.
Citing that 50 per cent of India resides in the rural homes, 30 per cent of meters will be installed in rural India.
On reporting, Sinha listed some of the parameters with respect of which the samples will be collected. Some of them are: number of consumer durables, age, gender, residence in metros or otherwise etc. States, for reporting, will be categorised as urban and urban plus rural keeping in mind that rural is never bought independently and that clubbing it to an extent with urban will provide greater stability of data.