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BARC EKAM: Learning online behaviour & ROI from specific campaigns will be easier, industry says

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MUMBAI: BARC India has announced the phased roll-out of its much-awaited digital measurement service. The digital products will be launched 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.

EKAM Pulse will measure video ad campaigns and will be the first digital offering to be rolled out by BARC India. 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. BARCIndia will also provide industry with EKAM Ad-Scan – which will be a global first-of-its-kind product.

EKAM Integra - will help industry with common, robust and independent audience numbers that will give more accurate incremental reach figures. To do this,BARC India’s TV data will be tied with Digital Video data with the help of Single-Source and Digital Booster panels on top of the census measurement and big data.

www.indiantelevision.com spoke to a cross-section of the industry on the new yardstick. Here are the views of Spuul Global CEO Subin Subaiah and Vertoz CEO Ashish Shah.

Was it eagerly awaited? How do you see it?

Subin: Its early days , but here are my thoughts. We're a media - tech company, and any innovations with regards to technology are always welcome. We have been looking forward to the introduction of a tool that would be a standard in measuring viewership and consumption, since currently different service providers have their own methods of measurement, and everyone's parameters for a successful campaign are defined differently.

Which are the other methods you have been using?

Subin: Currently, we use tools developed internally by our data and R&D teams. It's been a foolproof system so far, and we rely heavily on this when we schedule our content and advertisements. Having said that, we're looking forward to standardise the way online impressions are measured.

How would BARC's EKAM help? What would be you suggestions?

Subin: We see EKAM creating a standard of sorts, especially when service providers are in the midst of negotiations with regards to content, or even advertising real estate. We know the value of our content, the value of our real estate, and we would like to know whether the placement of advertisements affect overall viewership or not, and how, and this will help advertisers get on board too. If the parameters are the same across the industry, it leaves no room for doubt with regards to value of real estate, or advertising malpractices.

How would it give a fillip to the ecosystem?

Subin: The most important, and most challenging aspect of our business today is knowing our consumer. There is always so much that we do not know about the person we're trying to provide entertainment for. With EKAM coming in, learning the habits, online behaviour, and other viewership trends of our consumers will become far easier, thereby helping us create a better, more user friendly product, one that the consumer has been looking for.

Leading programmatic company Vertoz founder & CEO Ashish Shah says: Since 2015, consumption of video content has increased tenfold. This year internet is being consumed maximum for online videos, news, live streaming shows & events, etc. Advertisers are leveraging this change in user behavior to increase brand awareness and brand engagement. As the internet has become much faster compared to a decade ago, advertisers are rolling out video ads more and surprisingly consumers/users are responding positively to these ads by engaging more with these ads compared to image display ads. Video display ads, in-video ads and other engaging video ad formats are very popular among advertisers as CTR and engagement rate is high.

Current issue - The vital factor of any video advertising campaign is granular reporting. Almost all video advertising platforms give in-depth reports like number of video views, geos, average video watched time, video percentage watch, etc. Sometimes it is difficult to manage multiple platforms as all platforms might be targeting similar audience set, but as a marketer, there is no way to find out or know who has seen the ad from which platform as there is no provision to sync all these platforms together. A major issue for marketers is not online video platforms, but television. Marketers spend 15 to 20 times more on television ads as it is a main ATL medium to reach large audiences at a much lesser time.

A number of video broadcasting companies are focusing on their platform and audience but EKAM by BARC will help significantly in the growth of the video industry as it focuses on measuring the industrywide trends and industry-specific needs.

EKAM by BARC will help to measure linear broadcast as well as non-linear broadcast. The suite of products will help marketers to calculate the ROI from specific video campaigns as both linear and non-linear video broadcasting will be measurable now. It will help, not only advertisers but also video content creators to understand the success of their video content. This platform can give insights about audience, geo, reach and frequency which will be a great deal for publisher/content providers.

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