Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is set to evaluate RFPs sent to 27 organisations. This is in line with BARC's plan to reveal the two vendors, one each for research and technology, in December 2014, and start reporting audience measurement data by the summer of 2014.
The establishment study, which will help BARC to prioritise and determine the audience segments, is currently underway in 2.4 lakh households. The result of the establishment feed is expected in November. The self-funded apex body is also aiming for automation of the entire process - from collection of raw data from each of the panel homes to analysis.
These details were disclosed at the Delhi leg of a five-city road show that BARC is hosting to share way forward and invite suggestions from industry representatives. The event in Delhi was attended by over 75 representatives from media agencies and broadcasters.
Giving an insight into BARC, Paritosh Joshi, member - TechComm, and principal, Provocateur Advisory (representing Indian Broadcasting Foundation), opened the session by explaining, "BARC is not a research agency. It is definitely not an equivalent of the current vendor (TAM). The nearest equivalent is MRUC. We will invite tenders for research."
Periodicity of publishing viewership data, which was a bone of contention between broadcasters and advertisers (and agencies) recently, has not been decided on by BARC, yet. Joshi elaborated, "Initially, the data may be delivered the way it is. There might be different periodicities as the market evolves and number of channels and platform grows." The data would be platform and device-agonistic, and “digitisation would be an enabler,” informed Joshi.
On BARC’s sample size, Joshi said, “The next year’s deliverable is 20,000 metered households, ensuring a proper balance of rural and urban areas.” The intention of BARC, as Joshi underlined, would be to update the universe every six months. Sharing BARC’s wishlist, Joshi said, “Cloud-based monitoring and reporting, and ‘apps’ for custom-made data is what we hope will be possible as we go ahead.”
Would BARC’s research replace TAM’s data? “It is not for me or for BARC to say, but for industry bodies to choose. And so far, they are supporting BARC with their effort and monies,” surmised Joshi.