It’s official now: BARC chooses Mediametrie as tech partner

21 Jan,2014


For BARC chairman and Zee Entertainment MD and CEO Punit Goenka, the announcement of Mediametrie as the technology partner and the signing of the Letter of Intent in Mumbai is a big step towards the new audience measurement regime. Ditto for Benoit Cassagne. Mediametrie’s Executive Director of audience measurement and Senior Vice President for whom entering a large market like India is a significant recognition of its captabilities. Soon after making the announcement, both Messrs Goenka and Cassagne took time out to speak with Shobhana Nair


Technology & cost were factors in choosing Mediametrie: Punit GoenkaIn a sense, the future of the broadcast sector depends a lot on the decision to select Mediametrie as BARC’s technology vendor.  Are you fully convinced about the path chosen?

The first and foremost is that fact that it is a far more advanced technology that Mediametrie has brought to us. Apart from the watermarking solution that they are using, it is an open source technology. And any PC-based technology is far better and cheaper than a propriety system.  Other than technology, cost too was a factor in choosing Mediametrie. The entire process of audience rating is broken into three different stages and no one stage can go to another vendor. This in itself brings in checks and balances on who does what.


With so many parties involved, will it not complicate things?

Yes, it will complicate, but that’s part of life if you want a robust system to come in. We see the same happening in the UK which is a large market. I don’t see any reason why we can’t make it happen here.


TAM says it was appointed jointly by the three bodies – IBF, AAAI, ISA – for audience measurement. These three associations are also statekholders of BARC. Why do you think nothing can go wrong even now?

I am not sure whether TAM was officially appointed by all three bodies. We can go wrong however we have to work very hard. We have taken solutions after studying the models adopted by several countries. Our core proposition is based on the UK-model of BARB where you outsource it to three to four agencies so that no single agency controls the entire process and there is complete transparency.


Do you think you will be able to meet all your deadlines that you have set for BARC?

I am very confident that we will meet the deadlines.

Journey might be difficult but I know we will succeed: Benoit CassaigneThe technology you have has been adapted in stable markets like France. Do you think India is ready for this kind of a system?

India is ready for the change. We have met the people at BARC several times and we think these people are very qualified about audience measurement and they know exactly what they want to achieve. They have a clear roadmap. My belief is that the journey might be difficult but I know we will succeed


Is the watermark technology really the best way to measure television audiences?

Watermarking is very precise and I am very confident in our technology. Watermarking is very precise for time-shifting audience and to make difference between a live and time shifting edition. This is beneficial for new screen measurements. I think it will work well here in India.


Did you study the current Indian television audience measurement system. Being an outsider, did you study the current TV measurement system? What are the loopholes in them?

This is not an easy question and I am not a specialist. I don’t know the situation here but I do know there are complaints. I don’t know whether it is a question of governance, size of panels or technology. I can’t say really what was wrong. I am too new and too far from this market. But I have a lot of respect for them.


Are there any peculiarities about India for the development of a measurement system? Do you think it’s tougher to administer one here in India than it’s in your home market France?

Media measurement is a small world and the Indian situation is not-so-special. TV ratings systems are very comparable from country to country. The technology is comparable but the size of the market is not. Likewise, the local channels cannot be compared. Clearly, the Indian demand and market conditions are not difficult.

The announcement: BARC signs deal with Mediametrie, a joint industry body in FranceBARC announced the formal tie-up with Mediametrie of France for some key technology services and licensing for the proposed television audience measurement system. Mediametrie is the Joint Industry body in France, operating the TV, Internet and Radio currency ratings systems, engaged in multimedia audience research for the last 25 years. They have been designing and developing their own TV metering systems for 15 years.
They are pioneers in the development and usage of watermarking technology in audience research and have been using this successfully for the last seven years. This technology is used in 3 currency markets : France, Morocco and the Netherlands.


Under the arrangement, Mediametrie will provide technological knowhow and licenses to BARC to use their TV metering system and also help BARC procure its own metering hardware.


Speaking about the same, Punit Goenka, Chairman, BARC said “I am delighted at this association with Mediametrie. Our Technical Committee and the Management had scouted the global marketplace for suitable technology and we are happy with our choice. We will take a quantum jump in technology for audience measurement in the country with this.”


Benoit Cassaigne, Senior Vice President, Mediametrie said “We are very happy and proud of BARC’s confidence in our solutions and expertise. We are thrilled to bring our know-how on such a TV market and share it with BARC a company very similar to us in its DNA. We are sharing a lot already in term of philosophy and vision and I am sure we will go far together”


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