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Global digital platforms adapting locally for BARC's EKAM

NEW DELHI: Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India)’s first product under EKAM brand, to be launched in the first quarter of 2018, will be measurement of video advertisements on digital platforms. Global digital platforms are being exhorted to make some quick changes in service features for adaption in the Indian environment.

The ad measurement tool, which is part of several other such digital services, will have its findings or the data collected released on a daily basis, unlike the TV viewership and advertising-related data that BARC India puts out on a weekly basis.

BARC India had earlier announced a phased roll-out of its digital measurement service under the brand name EKAM (Sanskrit for “One”). The EKAM suite of products will include EKAM Pulse, EKAM Beam, EKAM Stream, EKAM Ad-Scan and EKAM Integra.

According to industry sources, the launch of the digital measurement products could get delayed as some of the global digital platforms operating in India are yet to tweak their systems to tailor them to Indian data measurement system that is being done by an industry body, unlike a private sector third party organization in western countries.

BARC India is in dialogue with global digital platforms urging them to make some necessary changes in their features so such platforms adapt themselves quickly to the Indian data measurement environment, industry sources explained, adding the speed of making the tweaks could decide the launch of a digital measurement product. “If everything, including co-operation from global digital platforms, go as planned, an early launch could also be envisaged in late December 2017,” a source in the know of things said optimistically.

Some of the top digital platforms, including global and India, sit on the technical committee of BARC India co-ordinating the rollout of digital measurements.

Nielsen India, a company that had been doing TV audience measurement in India in association with WPP’s Kantar

Media before BARC came into existence two years back, has been roped in by BARC as its primary digital measurement partner. Nielsen will fuse its global experience with India-specific adaptations to meet unique needs of the local market.

The payment mode to become a paid subscriber of BARC India’s digital world data would also differ from that employed for TV-related data subscribers, which is about 0.8 percent of the total ad revenue generated by a company.

EKAM Pulse will measure video ad campaigns. EKAM Beam, the next product lined up for release, will measure linear broadcast that is viewed on a digital device. EKAM Stream will measure both non-linear and pure play digital video content.

BARC India will also provide industry with EKAM Ad-Scan, which will be a global first-of-its-kind product. It will give an overview of digital ads in India, look at where the advertising money is being spent and which sectors are producing more digital ads. The final product in the digital suite will be EKAM Integra that will help industry with common, robust and independent audience numbers giving more accurate incremental reach figures.  

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