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BARC appoints Nielsen as digital measurement partner

MUMBAI: Broadcasters Audiences Research Council (BARC) India has moved a step closer to the launch of its digital measurement service EKAM with the appointment of global marketing research powerhouse Nielsen India as its primary digital measurement partner.

Nielsen, BARC India said, will fuse its global experience with India-specific adaptations to meet unique needs of the Indian market. Incidentally, BARC India’s digital business is headed by former Nielsen executive Jamie Kenney.

The process of identifying a digital measurement provider began with a request for information (RFI) followed by a request for proposal (RFP) from interested companies last year.

This was followed by a proof of concept (POC) testing, whereby three companies were shortlisted. Nielsen finally made the cut based on the strength of its demonstrated capabilities. BARC India’s digital products will be powered by Nielsen, which will help integrate the TV and digital service eventually.

Preceding Nielsen’s appointment, BARC India had unveiled its suite of digital products under EKAM brand. These include EKAM Pulse, EKAM Beam, EKAM Stream, EKAM Ad-Scan and EKAM Integra.

EKAM Pulse will measure video ad campaigns and will be the first digital offering to be rolled out by BARC India.

EKAM Beam, the next product lined up for release, will measure linear broadcast that is viewed on a digital device.

EKAM Stream will measure both non-linear and pure-play digital video content.

BARC India will also provide the industry with EKAM Ad-Scan, which will be a global first-of-its-kind product. It will give an overview of digital ads in India, look at where the advertising money is being spent and which sectors are producing more digital ads.

The final product in this suite, EKAM Integra, will help the industry with common, robust and independent audience numbers that will give more accurate incremental reach figures.

According to BARC, the EKAM suite of products will enable comprehensive video measurement of all videos (ads and content) played across TV and digital platforms to allow the industry to transact on a common currency with transparency.

The EKAM range of products, which will be launched in phases, will also address the issue of viewability and ad fraud. BARC India’s offering will ensure consistency, comparability and enhanced ability to de-duplicate audiences across sites, platforms and devices.

“In order to meet the needs and challenges of digital measurement, BARC India has been guided by its Digital Technical Committee, which has representation from all major players in the sector including Google, Facebook, Hotstar, Voot, Ditto, P&G, HUL, Group M, IPG and Omnicom Media Group. The model is more inclusive rather than exclusive as has happened in most parts of the world,” BARC said in a statement.

“With large expected growth in digital, as well as increased local and global industry demand for robust TV + digital measurement, it becomes essential that the country moves to a cohesive third-party measurement system. With lack of common trusted and transactable digital metrics, publishers and agencies use differently defined metrics and measures of success of the ad or content being placed on the platform. There is a need for uniformity where all sides of industry are in agreement on the right metrics, measures and definitions. Digital measurement methods are still evolving globally and BARC India is attempting a few things which are a global first,” said BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta.

“Most Indians who are getting online today are using a mobile device to do so, and 92% of the smartphone users are using video streaming services. These consumers will drive digital ad spends of marketers in India, likely to get close to Rs 30,000 crore by 2020. Measuring this explosion and building a currency around this to understand the reach and ROI of the marketer’s most important future spend is an imperative. BARC India and Nielsen are on this journey, together,” said Nielsen Global president and COO Steve Hasker.

“Thinking of occasions when we have had an opportunity to be part of truly path-breaking measurement, this would rank amongst the best. Combining BARC India’s maverick vision and our expertise in digital measurement, we are helping build an advanced solution uniquely tailored for India,” added Nielsen president South Asia Prasun Basu.

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