IPG Mediabrands India CEO and BARC chairman Shashi Sinha Friday said that the joint industry body for television audience measurement is not only capable of measuring Connected TV (CTV) viewership, but it is ready in a manner that it could launch CTV measurement as early as tomorrow.
Sinha was speaking exclusively with BestMediaInfo.com ahead of receiving the AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award 2023.
“Technically, BARC is capable of measuring CTV viewership. We can even start tomorrow but there is a struggle to get it going,” said Sinha.
“This is in addition to BARC’s preparedness for digital measurement. BARC has been running 12,000 digital panels for the last five years, which is bigger than anyone else in the country,” he added.
When asked what is holding BARC, Sinha said that there are multiple challenges and these are all stakeholder issues.
When it comes to reporting numbers for CTV, there's uncertainty.
“People often mention 25 million CTV households, but the source of this number is unclear,” said Sinha adding that there will be a lot of hue and cry when BARC comes up with its own base numbers as per our baseline study done about a year ago.
Sinha went on to say that some people argue that CTV measurement is essential for monetisation, as it provides reliable data. Then there are those who prefer not to have third-party measurements, believing it makes sense even without detailed data.
“If we get a few broadcasters for CTV measurement, it is a great idea. We paid so much money to Nielsen for handheld measurement four years back but it has not kicked off for various reasons known to everyone,” he added.
On being asked if a uniform metric for measurement across mediums will become a reality one day, Sinha said, “I hope and pray it does, not just for my sake but for the entire industry’s sake. It would bring me great joy to see it happen, regardless of whether I play a leading role in the measurement aspect or not.”
“In India, we have the capability, as I demonstrated with our experience in running a digital panel of significant size for the past five or six years. For instance, measuring CTV poses no problem for us, we can do it independently without external support. The key is for stakeholders to understand that there might be some short-term challenges, but the long-term benefits will outweigh them,” he added.
However, Sinha refrained from giving a timeline for unified measurement but hinted that the whole process till the data stabilises can take 2-3 years.
Watch the full interview: