BARC India adopts NCCS as new classification

MUMBAI: In its endeavour to interact, engage and share with its stakeholders - key developments and initiatives – Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has embarked upon itself to unravel the puzzle of TV audience measurement system in India.

One of the biggest changes that the measuring body has adopted is the New Consumer Classification System (NCCS).  The ‘New SEC’ system as it is referred to in the MRSI documents was co-developed by Market Research Society of India (MRSI) and Media Research Users Council (MRUC) as the new classification system for industry use.

The new SEC system, which has been in existence since 2008, was developed after rigorous research as a better discriminator of the purchasing power of a household compared to the SEC. “Research has to evolve over time; and so have systems. In the 80s, MHI was used to classify purchasing power, which gave way to a better system called the SEC in the 90s. It is now time to embrace the new age system,” points out BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta.

Alternative systems – a point-based system including education of CWE, press exposure of housewife, ownership of durables and usership of consumer goods; and a system considering ‘best type’ of consumer durables owned - were considered before settling on the present NCCS.

It is based on the assumption that a system that throws up more inequalities is more discriminating.

The new SEC system is used to classify households in India and is based on two variables:  education of chief wage earner and number of consumer durables (from a predefined list) owned by the family.

The 11 shortlisted durables (electricity connection, ceiling fan, gas stove, refrigerator, two wheeler, washing machine, colour TV, computer, four-wheeler, air conditioner, agricultural land (in rural areas) were identified as the best discriminators of the ‘purchasing power’ of a household after evaluating the series of variables, including education of housewife, type of dwelling (house), amenities, number of rooms, ownership of durables and usership of consumer goods.

Dasgupta believes that the new system will be of great value to the industry due to various factors. “To name a few; (a) Advertisers do not discriminate between urban and rural India from their sales perspective; and the NCCS is a single system for urban and rural India, (b) It is not linked to only one individual in the household, but to the entire household, (c) It is dynamic, having the ability to change over time as discriminators change, and (d) It captures the affordability quotient of household and hence marketers can target more precisely.”

NCCS v/s SEC – A Comparison:

NCCS Grid has 12 grades ranging from A1 to E3:


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