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BARC appoints Nielsen to conduct India’s largest TV universe estimation study

MUMBAI: Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has appointed Nielsen as the agency to conduct India’s largest universe estimation study on television ownership and viewing habits.

Nielsen will cover a sample size of 300,000 households, and the first round of findings will be released by BARC in early 2016.

The study will provide the marketing industry with an in-depth understanding of the count and composition of television households in the country, with updated numbers over time as industry currency, addressing questions such as the number of televisions per household, viewers, and viewing habits.

With a focus on providing a robust and expanding panel to measure television ratings in the country, the study will also gather data on television-owning households in small towns and rural India.

As an additional layer to measuring television audiences, the study will also capture the shift in content viewing between linear mediums like television and digital mediums such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, etc.

The technology used will ensure a quick turnaround, which is why the data will not get dated upon release.

BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta said, “As we introduce a new system of television ratings in the country, we are also cognisant of the need to understand the changing television audience across the country. This pioneering study will help address many questions faced by the industry today, and be a ready reckoner for marketers and advertisers, besides helping the panel expansion for television measurement as well. The methodology that has been selected will reduce the time taken for the study, and allow for a quicker turnaround compared to traditional methods.”

Nielsen was chosen after a pitch process, and was awarded the contract based on their understanding of the environment and challenges, as well as the use of novel technology and processes, BARC said.

The study will be conducted using innovative technology, with a digital focus. Tools and methods like computer-aided personal interviews (CAPI), GPS technology and phone number validation via OTPs will be deployed to ensure greater efficiency in the interview process, increased accuracy and transparency through the end-to-end process.

“The appointment is a testimony to Nielsen’s expertise, and we are excited about being chosen by BARC on this prestigious project. Our vast infrastructure, quality processes and latest technology in data capture and world-class standards lend a perfect combination to ensure that this study, arguably the largest one of its kind in the country, within the media sector, gets completed in record time,” added Nielsen India MD Prashant Singh.