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BARC India to report viewership from free and pay platforms

This will be available over and above the current urban/rural cuts to facilitate more effective planning

Measurement panel Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has announced that it would start reporting viewership from ‘free and pay’ platforms separately starting week 27 (June 29-July 5).

BARC India’s measurement systems always evolve on feedback from the industry. In the past four years, BARC India has enabled granular reporting cuts on the basis of feedback from various stakeholders to better understand viewership habits.

The new pay and free platform variable will be offered over and above the current ‘urban and rural’ cuts reported by BARC India. It will be made available to all subscribers for planning and analysis through its proprietary BARC Media Workstation Software, and will also be published on the website for select genres.

A free connection is one where a household pays only a small one-time fee for installing the set-top box. A major player in this area is DD Free Dish. The household does not pay any monthly subscription fee. A pay connection is one where the subscriber invests an initial amount for installation and a monthly subscription fee.

In the Hindi-speaking markets, two out of 10 homes are free homes, accounting for almost 140 million TV-viewing individuals. The pay and free viewers differ significantly not only in terms of demographics but also in their characteristics, values, lifestyle and psychographics. A study done in these homes by BARC India explicates the personas of these two audience types.

Reporting viewership from pay and free platforms separately would enable focussed targeting. Advertisers can plan more effectively by placing insertions on channels available on these platforms in the respective regions. Broadcasters can also make more informed decisions pertaining to content and distribution.

Partho Dasgupta

“There has been a strong demand from the market for separate reporting of viewership from homes with pay and free connections. We have taken market feedback in consideration with the changes that have come about in the ecosystem after the implementation of the tariff order. We believe this move is a step in the right direction to empower the industry in understanding distinct consumption patterns of this segment and plan more effectively,” said Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India.

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