In a prepared statement, LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, sought to clarify the TV audience measurement company’s stand on key issues, in the context of the ongoing tussle with broadcasters who have chosen to part ways with TAM’s measurement data.
This comes even as the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) have urged broadcasters to continue with TAM’s measurement data, reasoning that it is the only rating currently available and hence necessary to make investment decisions on the medium.
TAM on sample size:
“The key question is, what is an ideal sample size? More than two years back, TAM worked closely with the FICCI Amit Mitra Committee report to arrive at the projected/required sample size of 30000 and we are still waiting for the funding. While for the last 15 years, we have been the central and neutral TV audience measurement service, the key point here is that we were appointed by the industry stakeholders – advertisers, broadcasters and media agencies – with a promise of getting funded. While we specialise in research, conducting and operating it requires funds. My question is, why is TAM always blamed for small sample sizes? We have over these years, built the sample to 9500 peoplemeters with whatever funding we could muster from our parent companies and subscribers. Today we cover 225 towns in urban India, covering the entire urban landscape of North and West markets. Why is nobody speaking about what TAM has achieved for the industry even without any guaranteed funding? Good technology and large sample sizes require funds. Let industry open more funds, we will deliver their dreams.”
TAM on transparency and methodology:
“What is their definition of transparency? If it means being transparent about methodology, well, we have always made sure that our methodologies are vetted by industry bodies and individual stakeholders before they are implemented. Take the latest case of DAS-1 roll out. TAM has been in constant touch and discussion with the Core Industry Committee (CIC) on methodology and its implementation. TAM took them through the detailed dynamics of data generation and reporting. It was only post that, the data was released for usage. The documents were circulated for everyone for reading and comments. More so, during the last 15 years, all documents pertaining to methodology have been shared with the industry constituents, attached to reports like Dr. Mitra committee, TRAI reports and made available on the company website.
So, if they really had a problem with us, why don’t they tell us where the problem in methodology is? No one person has come to us with a perspective on methodology in the last so many years.”
TAM on ‘not meeting the industry’:
“Very surprising! For years now, at industry forums or during one on one client meetings, TAM has been appealing to the industry clients to create a central wish list or a common brief of aspects that it would like TAM to address. The idea was that, post their revert, we were to submit a blue print of Television Audience Measurement. This would cover the required sampling, methodology, technology etc. Unfortunately, years have passed, not a single common brief has reached us. Having said that, this never discouraged or stopped us from re-attempting to get them together for this purpose.”
TAM on the way forward:
"Till the time work of BARC kick starts, why can’t the industry just constitute a small body to work with TAM and introspect the areas where they have a common concern? TAM has always been transparent and will always be so except for its town list and panel homes. It’s to facilitate something in this direction, TAM went on to attempt creating a separate panel of Transparency member team with global experts. The industry can very well take advantage of this committee to suggest ways in which TAM should improvise the exercises it conducts continuously.”
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