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BARC India partners with IITs, seeks new solutions to improve audience measurement

As part of the partnership, IITians across the country were asked to suggest newer ways of measuring TV viewership habits of 836 million TV-owning individuals. All solutions are platform-agnostic and will be further tested for their feasibility

In a bid to improve TV audience measurement in India with next gen solutions, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has partnered with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

The partnership is in line with BARC India’s philosophy of providing a robust TV viewership measurement to the country of 197 million TV homes. As part of the partnership, IITians across the country were asked to suggest newer ways of measuring TV viewership habits of 836 million TV-owning individuals.

The solutions BARC India was seeking included newer methods of channel, content and ad identification as well as an alternative to button pushing and the current visible meter used for capturing viewership data at panel homes.

10 IITs from across the country participated in the competition and presented their solutions to a jury. IIT Kharagpur’s T.Y.S.S. Santosh won the Gold prize and a summer internship with BARC India for coming up with the best solution. The proposed solution can potentially transform large conspicuous hardware in panel homes to user-friendly smart assistants, and also reduce dependency on third parties for channel identification. IIT Kanpur bagged the Silver and IIT Bombay was placed third with a Bronze.

All solutions presented by the students are platform-agnostic and will be further tested for their feasibility. If proven, the solution would be adopted into the system to enhance the measurement service.

Emphasising on this collaborative approach with the sharpest minds in India for next gen technology solutions, Romil Ramgarhia, COO, BARC India, said, “Indian TV industry is dynamic and its needs are ever evolving. India faces several unique issues such as power cuts, data connectivity challenges, wide disparity in temperature and climatic conditions, etc., all of which impact collection of data. It thus is important for us to keep innovating and thinking ahead. We are delighted to see the young and bright minds from the most premier technology institute of India coming up with some extraordinary solutions. Through this partnership, we also want to encourage students to take technology from research labs to end users, impacting a million lives.”

Gold prize winner T.Y.S.S. Santosh (final year student IIT Kharagpur), said, “We are happy to be the Gold winners in the battle between all IITs in this tough competition. BARC India’s challenging case study demanded working on inter-disciplinary components of tech — hardware, software, machine learning and artificial intelligence — to propose a new solution to the existing state-of-the-art technology available with BARC India. We are obliged to BARC India for offering us summer internships and look forward to be a part of this great place to work and a technologically-driven company. We are looking forward to work on our proposed technology in a cross functional setup of teams,” said Santosh.

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