Television audience measurement company Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has got on board Mediametrie of France for key technology services and licensing for its proposed television (TV) audience measurement system in India.
With this tie-up, BARC is set to hit the market with its TV ratings starting October this year.
Calling it the first step towards making BARC TV ratings a reality, Punit Goenka, chairman, BARC, said the technical committee and the management had scouted the global marketplace for suitable technology and finalised Mediametrie after great deliberation.
“We will take a quantum jump in technology for audience measurement in the country with this,” he said.
Mediametrie is a joint industry body in France, operating the TV, internet and radio currency ratings systems, engaged in multi-media audience research for the last 25 years.
According to Benoit Cassaigne, senior vice-president, Mediametrie, its audio watermarking technology is very accurate and can measure data when it is simulcast.
The technology is currently being used in France, Morocco and the Netherlands.
An audio watermark is similar to a watermark on a photo, but is applied to audio or sound instead of video or an image. It is a marker embedded in an audio signal, typically to identify ownership of copyright for that audio. Watermarking is the process of embedding information into a signal (example audio, video or pictures) in a way that is difficult to remove.
If the signal is copied, then the information is also carried in the copy. A signal may carry several different watermarks at the same time. Watermarking has become increasingly important to enable copyright protection and ownership verification.
A non-profit entity launched in 2011, BARC has 60% shareholding by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and 20% each by Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the Indian Advertisers Agencies Association of India (AAAI).
The council is also in advanced stage of finalising a hardware partner and is expected to soon make an announcement in this regard.
Confirming the development, Shashi Sinha, chairman, BARC Technical Committee, said Mediametrie will also assist the council in procuring its own metering hardware.
“We are at a very advanced stage of commercial discussions and will shortly announce the hardware partner. The plan is to have 25,000 meters across 20,000 homes from day one of TV ratings hitting the market,” he said.
Not divulging the costing/pricing details associated with TV ratings by BARC, Sinha said the amount will be more or less the same that’s being charged for 9,600 odd meters that are currently installed by the existing service provider.
On the duration of this contract with Mediametrie, Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC, said it is a long-term arrangement though currently signed for a 1+5 year term.