So what should one make of BARC’s TAM meter jv?

10 Feb,2016


By A Correspondent


So you have already read about the BARC India-TAM jv being solemnised. Now let’s try and understand what it means for all stakeholders, and more importantly for BARC and TAM.


Tears for TAM?

Of course, it’s been in existence for over 15 years. Has done yeoman service to the industry. The adspends on television would’ve grown any which way, but the presence of a robust measuring system ensured the more discerning and price-sensitive advertisings looked at television (over print).


What happens to LV Krishnan?

Don’t know yet, But one has to acknowledge the great work put in. Take a bow, LV!


So, effective March 1, BARC will be a monopoly?

Ah, well, yes. TAM will cease to be in existence for television measurement.


Monopolies are bad news. How does this new one help television?

Yes, a monopolistic situation isn’t good news, but don’t underestimate Nielsen and Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP. They could well enter the scene again – directly or indirectly. In the short run, it will help stabilise BARC.


But TAM meters were bad na? Will the 12,000 meters really add up?

Hmmm, in all probability a fair number of them won’t be mainstreamed into the BARC system eventually. They may be deployed on rural or not-so-significant areas.


So are we thinking of what you are thinking?

We are all thinking, but we don’t have an evil, cynical mind!

No, that basically the gobbling up happened because they wanted to kill competition!

The weather in Mumbai is so horrible these days. I really wish I was in Delhi


Okay, okay, we got the answer. But, pssst, just between you and me only, and not for the entire world, how did it help doing that?

Because ever since BARC started releasing data from April 29 last year (2015), some broadcasters – large networks and minor ones – have been fussing about the data. And always comparing the BARC data with that of TAM. So, that was a pain in the you-know-where


So you have a created an unfair monopoly?

Why do you such words. Keynes ka distant cousin, kya?


What happens to TAM’s digital-television measurement system which it announced with IMRB last year?

Most probably it will be killed too. BARC is coming up with something similar. Plus TAM can’t be doing TV, so finito for the TV measurement part of the service possibly!


And what the other stuff… RAM?

Other businesses continue. The press release clearly says that it will continue to serve AdEx services of TV, Print & Radio AdEx, Daily & Weekly Sales Index Reports, Bollywood & Music Monitoring Dashboards; Audience Measurement in Radio (RAM); Sports Sponsorship ROI Measurement (TAM Sports) and PR Measurement data & Audit services (Eikona) to its valuable clients.



No buts. But, yes, the main horsepower would come from TV


So why did Kantar and Nielsen do it?

Because they had lost substantial business any way. While broadcasters have the propensity to pay for two currencies, their associations would frown upon them continuing to back a company it had opted against.


What about GroupM? Isn’t it owned by WPP, the people who half-own TAM via Kantar?

Sir Martin Sorrell is a smart businessman. And his people here are wise. They know what’s good for the industry


And where the wind is blowing?

Why don’t you change from kurtas to shirts?


Any more questions we should be asking?

Yes, so when will it start getting warmer in Delhi


Post a Comment 

3 responses to “So what should one make of BARC’s TAM meter jv?”

  1. Paritosh Joshi says:

    While the lighthearted tone of this piece is welcome, why the snark about BARC? It’s a joint industry body, Pradyuman. All three participants in the television value chain caused it to happen. And it took the best part of a decade to get here. Monopolies that exist for the profit motive may have reason to be predatory. BARC exists to serve its participant-stakeholders. And as a Section 8 company, there is no distribution of profits. All surpluses are ploughed back to strengthen the measurement mechanism. In the event, the inferred aspersions are not merely misguided; they are vaguely slanderous.

    • Pradyuman Maheshwari says:

      No sarcasm at all. But it’s just interpreting what happened, Paritosh. So am surprised that you suggest they are “vaguely slanderous” and “not merely misguided”. But unlike the other publication where you wrote for and where you allowed the article to be stripped off, please do not expect me to do the same.

      Must say your accusations are uncalled for. I wouldn’t say misguided, because I do respect your intellect.

      The fact of the matter is for years, TAM was left to do its own. Had it been guided/ mentored/ micromanaged by the industry and stakeholders who embraced it, we wouldn’t have had a more stable, well-accepted measurement regime.

      BARC has been run very pragmatically, but we know of at least one other jib-like industry association which has floundered with a measurement system.

      As for the issue of ‘monopoly’, we mentioned it because at least two broadcasters stated this to us in confidence and on conditions of anonymity on Thursday. Also, if you remember, monopoly was also a term that was used to describe TAM, rightly or wrongly some years back. But TAM did have profits as a motive, and it made no bones about it. BARC, as you said, will plough back earnings back into the system.

      MxMIndia has backed BARC from the time it was set up. Through the last few months, we have also warded off criticism of BARC by all and sundry in the industry. We believe that BARC is doing its mandated job, has the right intentions and it needs the time and space to settle in.

      Meanwhile, the BARC CEO has responded to the same set of questions. Now hope you don’t find his responses misguided – merely or fully, slanderous – vaguely or direct and whatever else you may like to call it.