BARC India ventures into OOH viewership measurement; Star first network to sign-up for service

MUMBAI: In a major boost for broadcasters in general and sports broadcasters in particular, Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India has started reporting out of home viewership data.

With this, BARC India will now be able to report TV viewership that happens in social hot-spots like restaurants, pubs, and bars in select cities.

The council believes that this service will be a game changer for the industry as it uncovers a significant share of TV viewership that wasn’t being measured until now.

The current Out Of Home (OOH) measurement service tracks viewing across 900+ establishments in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, using 1500+ meters.

BARC’s audio watermarking technology allows it to track content through its broadcast cycle irrespective of the distribution platform. It is leveraging the audio watermarking technology for its OOH TV viewership measurement service.

BARC India’s OOH measurement is a pre-subscribed service. Star is the first network to subscribe to this service for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).

As per available data, OOH viewing generated a total of 19.4 million impressions for the first 8 IPL matches in the three cities. This, if compared to BARC India’s currency panel in these markets, is an additional 10% viewership.

The OOH data is sample study across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. If a study was done for other similar cities one could expect to see a comparable lift in viewership, BARC stated.

“With our commitment to measure ‘What India Watches’, it was a natural step for us to measure OOH viewing. This is also aligned with our goal of measuring content wherever it plays- irrespective of screen or pipe. Measuring Out Of Home viewing is another initiative towards this objective. The robust technology backbone we have set up allowed us to seamlessly measure out of home viewing. We will continue to offer more such path-breaking services that yield sharper insights to industry,” said BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta.

Recently, BARC India had launched a new subscription-based service called ‘PreView’ for its subscribers. The custom product gives BARC India subscribers the viewership report of a broadcast event 3 days after the telecast. BARC’s weekly data otherwise offers data every Thursday for the previous week Saturday to Friday.

Star India was the first subscriber to adopt the product. The broadcaster had released the data of the opening IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians one week ahead of its actual release using the ‘PreView’ service.