Media360 India came to a close with a panel discussion on measurement featuring Prasun Basu, president, Nielsen Holdings, Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands and Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC.
The session was moderated by CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM South Asia, who set the tone for discussion by stating the current scene in the media measurement space in India.
"In the last two years we have made enormous strides in media measurement. What has happened in the last couple of years has been more than the 10-15 years before that. We have established a world class TV measurement system (BARC). In print, we have managed to get the show on the road. ABC, the oldest body of its kind has relaunched in its new avatar and going digital. In media like cinema, OOH and radio we're not yet there, but all together we have progressed. Yet, there is pessimism and angst around measurement," said Srinivas.
Sinha added, "Yes we have made strides, but the strides in technology have been a lot more than educating media, publishers etc. They are more pessimistic about this than what peers say outside. I think there's more ground to be made but what's currently done hasn't been evangelised."
Speaking about the success of BARC, Dasgupta said, "One of the most important things we have done is stakeholder management. Everybody has played a big role. People, technology and finances came in at the right time and right place."
Giving an example of the functionality of BARC, Sinha, added, "The day we launched BARC, Punit Goenka (MD and CEO, ZEEL) was chairman. His channel ratings were shown to have fallen down in the first ratings."
Responding to a question from CVL Srinivas about some of the challenges BARC currently faces, Dasgupta said, "From a trading and currency point of view, things have stabilised now. But every Thursday is a new day and I have an opportunity to create enemies. The kind of calls, threats I get are not funny. What I hear is that the tone may be different, but counterparts get similar threats."
On whether more can be done in the measurement space, Basu stated, "Can we do more? The answer is yes. But, we need to also feel proud of what we have done in the past two years. There's been a lot of investments to get data out on field. India is the only market outside of China where there's local engineering and the country has joined USA and China to become one of the more important markets. We have to keep pushing the curve on measurement."
Sinha added, "Measurement has moved forward. But the consumer is ahead of the curve and there's a gap for sure. On the next leap of measurement, while internally we are currently doing it, linking purchase to media consumption will be great."
CVL Srinivas surmised, "Whoever generally has an agenda against measurement is strangely who loses the most out of it."
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