While TV channels claim concurrent digital viewership numbers, a third party measurement will have a real impact on the growth of digital revenue, said Shashi Sinha, CEO – IPG Mediabrands and Chairman of TV measurement body BARC, delivering the keynote at MediaNews4U’s Print and Television Summit 2023.
His address was on the theme ‘Criticality of TV measurement in the Age of Convergence’.
Sinha underlined the need for cross media measurement, noting that in India the media business is still driven by advertising as against subscription revenue. And for advertisers, a validated third party measurement is critical, noted the speaker.
“Today, we in India have the capability to measure Connected TVs. We (BARC) spent three months trying to convince stakeholders to come into the (connected) measurement system. It can be done with the current technology, at the current cost. But the data is not coming out. Hopefully it will dawn on people at some point,” noted Sinha.
He quipped, “BARC is like a coalition government. Managing diverse interests is a challenge.”
Weighted Measurement and the Landing Page
Today a lot of TV viewership is through forced viewing, contended the speaker, citing free dishes that have a huge influence in HSM markets.
Reporting weighted free and pay TV data from early 2024, and further slicing and dicing of segments like DTH and cable, the landing page issue will be eliminated, said the speaker
While BARC reports pay and FTA data, it is aggregated currently. It is set to report weighted data from early 2024. The BARC Chairman said six months from then, it could be further segmented to reveal slices that would give a clearer picture of actual viewership, he noted.
“Most of the landing pages get done on cable homes but the data is currently aggregated and one can’t see it. However if we separate cable and DTH, then brands which have affinity for DTH homes will take decisions on channels where impact of the landing page will be minimal,” he explained.
Impact of Coming Changes on Digital
While digital media has witnessed exceptional growth, it is in for a few changes with data privacy laws kicking in internationally and in India, and a common set of regulations for TV and OTT, observed the speaker.
“Broadly 50 pc of the money for digital is today coming from performance. It will become tougher with privacy issues coming into play. A lot of people getting revenues from performance, will stop seeing easy victories. Large e-commerce companies will have to rethink when the implications of the Data Protection Act kicks in,” noted Sinha.
The proposed common guidelines for the I&B industry for TV and OTT will have far-reaching implications, underlined the speaker.
He said, “If I have to hazard a guess, the Ministry wants a level playing field. A lot of content on OTT platforms is not regulated today. With common regulation, some evenness will come in.”
A Larger Role for Print
“There is a huge opportunity for print players. Some of the mass print players say they keep an arms length between print and digital because the CPMs are very low in digital. My advice to them is to embrace digital. Don’t give away your powers to the giants in the room,” said the IPG Mediabrands CEO of India.
He urged print players to leverage their huge print distribution strength for reach at the top of the funnel, and use their large online viewership at the bottom.
“Beyond advertising, they could use their digital readership to handle advertisers’ CRM needs, for conversions,” he surmised.
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