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Tata Sky signs WPP's Kantar Media to better understand subscribers

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MUMBAI: How much can you know about your subscribers? Well, India?s leading DTH operator Tata Sky believes the more the better. In a first for India, Tata Sky has signed an audience measurement deal with WPP media research firm Kantar Media. The contract with Kantar, will deliver a service, which is expected to help Tata Sky understand its subscribers viewing habits and also measure their behaviour.

Expected to launch later this year, the service will take full advantage of Kantar Media?s return path data technology RapidView to collect complex audience data directly from set top boxes (STBs) and provide insights into subscriber behaviours not easily captured elsewhere.

Kantar will have overall responsibility for setting up and operating the service and will be closely supported in the local market by India?s leading market research agency IMRB. Data from the service will be made available to Tata Sky using Infosys+, the leading edge TV analysis software platform developed by Kantar Media.

Data will be collected from an opt-in panel chosen from Tata Sky?s subscriber base. An additional panel will be used to monitor those homes with High Definition (HD) televisions. Viewing data will be captured across all the ways in which Tata Sky customers are able to view TV (including live, time shift, on demand and interactive).

Tata Sky chief content & business development officer Nicola Bamford said, ?We are excited about launching this service in India in collaboration with Kantar Media and IMRB. The insights that will be available to us will help us to stay at the forefront of the Pay TV business in India.?

Kantar Media Audiences global director for return path data Nick Burfitt said: ?Pay-TV is showing incredible growth in India and Tata Sky is a leader there. We are delighted to have been chosen to develop and deploy this ground-breaking service, the first of its kind in this important market. The new service will provide real insights into the viewing habits of subscribers and we look forward to working with Tata Sky further as the service develops.?

Kantar Media has been operating audience measurement services for set-top box operators around the world since 2005 and is the acknowledged thought leader in the successful deployment and research techniques using return path data.

The partnership with Tata Sky is the latest addition to existing services operating in the USA, UK, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand with data being processed from many millions of set-top boxes each day. And that has helped operators there to service subscribers better and possibly offer solutions to potential partners and advertisers.

Among the benefits clients such as BSkyB have got out of the service include: improved targeting of consumer marketing, increased advertising sales through more compelling audience insights, enhanced understanding of programming priorities, and increased revenues through possession of this valuable data.

The fact is Tata Sky is taking cue from other markets to further up its service and business standards. Now one will have to wait and watch whether other DTH operators in India follow suit.

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