1 Minute View: Time for stakeholders to sit together and clear the mess

11 Jun,2013

The following comment was carried as MxMIndia Comment today.


We echo similar sentiments and would hence replay what our editor-in-chief wrote this morning:

The media industry is captained by grown-ups, wise and mature men and women. We propound theories on ways the world should be run on our news channels and send social messages via our soaps and shows. But, wtf, why can’t broadcasters, advertisers, advertising agencies and measurement/ research firms sit together and clear the mess?


With BARC having invited proposals by issuing a global RFP, a new system can be expected to be in place this time next year. However, since there is a year to go and much business to be sought, can we do the following:


1. Get a third-party to study the problems and come up with a white paper superquick? A consulting firm like Ernst & Young could be asked to do it. Or KPMG. Or PwC. Or whoever can do it without getting influenced by any of the stakeholders. We could ask the folks at BARC to do it. Let the three stakeholders plus the government-owned Doordarshan commission this soon.

2. Let each stakeholder appoint a representative to have a Measurement Steering Committee which will work in the interim. These could be from amongst people running BARC currently.

3. Alter the method of funding research. Although no one was willing to come on record on this, there is a sentiment that the broadcasters have a dominating influence on BARC (and now TAM). This has got to change (the perception and if it is indeed a fact). Currently, since it’s advertising which drives the broadcast business, the ad agency and the advertisers are the primary users of the data.

Hence, the stoppage of subscription revenues going to TAM (and later BARC) can derail the entire system. And have a significant impact on the TV trade. Perhaps the South African model of a small percentage of all advertising revenue going to fund research may work.


These are three immediate measures that may work. There are various other minds at work… one hopes we will eventually see reason.


Whatever be the way out of the mess, it’s clear that the industry can ill-afford a system without a measurement system. TAM, in this case. And it’s also important TAM understands the problems of broadcasters and corrects all the problem areas.


That’s the only way to go.


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