Guest column: Why BARC renaming impressions as AMA makes sense

It’s not just a case of a rose by any other name.

CHENNAI: What is known as ‘impressions’in India is known as AMA in Canada, ‘average audience’ in the US and ‘projections’ in Australia. Regardless of the name, average minute audience is what it is and it is not just a case of a rose by any other name.

BARC has defined impressions as the number of individuals (in '000s) in a target group who viewed an event averaged across minutes.

The formula for impressions is:

Impressions= Total Viewing Minutes/Program Duration (in mts)

As is evident from the formula, total viewing minutes of a programmeis not the same as the programme duration. Suppose there are five individuals A, B,C, D and E in the target group and we want to measure the impressions of a 30-minute programme(or ‘event’ if you insist on jargon).

Here, total viewing minutes of a 30-minute event is  0+ 5+ 30+ 10+3 = 48 minutes

Total viewing minutes being the sum of minutes watched by all individuals in the TG.

When applied in the formula,impressions = 48/30 = 1.6

In other words, 1.6 is the average number of individuals viewing the event per minute.

To refer to this as ‘average minute audience’ is just making life easier for everyone

(( Total Viewing minutes is also Avg. daily reach x Avg. Time spent per viewer

In our example, Average Daily Reach is 5 and Average Time Spent per viewer = 48/5 = 9.60))

Impressions is a metric used in online response measurement as well. An impression is recorded when a web server responds to a page request by a user's browser. Using the same term in TV audience measurement was cause for confusion and this rechristening is a welcome move. In the new avatar as average minute audience, the concept becomes self-explanatory:

“The average number of individuals who viewed the event in a minute.”


Soccer and football maybe the same, but football is self-explanatory and soccer is jargon.

The writer is managing partner of adMAX Media Consultants. The opinions expressed here are his own and may not subscribe to them.

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