Intam ratings wind-up postponed to March-end

The clock is ticking for the entry of a new ratings currency. Market research agency ORG Marg's Intam data, the older of the two established ratings services currently available in India, will no longer be issued from the end of March. 

The move is part of a process set in motion at the end of October 2001 by AC Nielsen's TAM Media Research and ORG MARG's Intam that involves the integration of the two agencies' ratings systems and the "unveiling of a completely new service in June," LV Krishnan, president TAM India, told today.

The cessation of Intam data was originally supposed to go through by 31 January but that has been postponed till the end of March "to allow for a thorough benchmarking" between the two systems, Krishnan says. This is required because Intam uses picture matching technology for its peoplemeters while TAM uses a frequency system. Work is on to debug the software. "It essentially involves software resolutions for which the process is very much on," says Krishnan. 

What this all means in effect is that, between April and the unveiling of the new service, TAM data will be the only ratings available. 

Krishnan says the work towards a new service is proceeding in close consultation with the joint industry body (JIB) which is made up of 20 members representing broadcasters (Indian Broadcasting Foundation - IBF), ad agencies (the 3AAAs of I) and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA). The JIB technical committee is chaired by BV Pradeep, director, market research, Hindustan Lever. 

"The JIB has also appointed a research design sub-committee headed by Praveen Tripathi (with over 20 years experience in market research) and a software sub-committee headed by Asutosh Srivastava of MindShare. The committee's recommendations will be an input to the final new service plans," Krishnan said. 

Pointing to the extent of interaction involved, Krishnan said the JIB has had six meetings between 29 November and 7 January. Represented on the JIB from the IBF are five members, one each from Star India, Zee TV, Sony Entertainment, Sun TV and Eenadu TV. 

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