MUMBAI: Two years after launching its television ratings service in the country, Audience Measurement and Analytics (AMA) has announced that aMap, which provides data on overnight viewing, has installed 6,000 meters in India.
In addition to the 28 markets already being measured, aMap is now present in three more markets Jammu, Guwahati and Bihar and Jharkhand.
aMap CEO Tapan Pal says, "Currently, ten (broadcast) clients buy our product. We have also launched a fastrack service for our clients. This reports on viewership patterns during a significant event. For instance around 27 million people across India watched the Semi-Finals of the ICC Champions Trophy.
"While these numbers are lesser than what the India matches got, they are considerably higher than the number of people that previously saw neutral matches. I would say that while our price might be higher than the competition (Tam) it is a question of the value one offers. One can slice and dice information in many ways. For instance one can check out what students watch and if o0ne wants to slice further one can see what an a student who speaks English watches versus what a student who speaks Marathi watches. We thus go beyond basic demographics
"Also our service allows broadcasters and advertisers to constantly stay in touch with the consumer. The resistance from certain quarters to another ratings product will I am sure come down. Already there are another 50 channels who are keen on using us."
Pal notes that often there are differences in the ratings that aMap throws up versus what Tam shows. For instance the time spent on the niche channels like HBO, Star Movies is higher in aMap's analysis than what Tam data shows.
One show that delivered hugely divergent ratings on aMap and Tam was the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs finale live event which aired on 28 October. Tam data indicates that L'il Champs delivered for Subhash Chandra's flagship channel Zee TV a whopping 11.1 TVR, rocketing it to the top of the charts for that week. On the other hand, the aMap rating for the show was just 4.7 without the ad break and 4.1 with the ad break included. The data was generated for C&S 4+ for north, west and east. "We are confident about our numbers," asserts Pal.
Confident he may be, but such disparities only make the already increasingly complicated job of media consumption analysis that much more difficult.
aMap director Francis Howard said, “We are committed to the Industry in continuing with the most robust and sophisticated system that addresses the needs of the changing mediascape. We are now present all over India. Introduction of the three new markets of Jammu, Guwahati and Bihar and Jharkhand will give path-breaking insights into hitherto unreported markets. aMap ensures that it is large enough to capture the smallest nuances of the market.”
"We proceeded in a deliberate manner in adding peoplemeters given the fact that the distribution landscape is changing. Ideally one would want 20,000 meters in three years. We also have plans in radio which we hope to surprise the industry with," he asserts.
Of course there is the question of how agencies related to WPP, which co-owns AGB Nielsen Media Research, the parent company of Tam Media, will respond to aMap's product. aMap MD Raviratan Arora says that while it faces an uphill task in this area, he is confident that firms will accept a product that offers more targeted results. The idea that a monopoly is good in the ratings services industry is a fallacy, Arora argues. After all innovation will not happen unless there is competition, he points out.
He still has to convince the industry on that score though.