Barc News Ratings: Too early to interpret the data?


The Hindi news channel genre saw a major shake-up in the pecking order as Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India started publishing news briefs from week 10. As part of BARC India’s new policy for increased data reporting standards, audience data has been released. for week 10, NCCS All 15+ moving average, 6-24 hours. However, experts say it’s too early to draw conclusions from the data that came after a 17-month gap. They also argue that the industry needs to wait for TV news ratings to stabilize because it’s too premature to take a call on the data released last week.

“It is indeed a positive step that news data is finally coming out. It would support our planning and media buying decisions in many ways. The only caveat is that it is too early to take a drastic look at the rankings, we have to wait and observe for 8-13 weeks before coming to any conclusions.Some of the results in the HSM market may not have been in line with what we expected , but it could also be a reality,” said Sujata Dwibedy, Group Trading Director, Amplifi, dentu India.

She further said that the four-week data released by BARC included many high-profile events that led to an increase in viewership. Therefore, it is necessary to assess the ratings during a stable period. “Given that the data is a four-week rolling average, which would have included the election, the war in Ukraine, the disappearance of Lata Mangeshkar and many such news spikes, and it is also for 06:00-24:00, we need to see a stable period for the rankings,” Dwibedy confirmed.

According to Dwibedy, it is necessary to combine the BARC ratings with the internal selling mechanism of marketers before making a decision. “As marketers, we also understand market dynamics because our customers have their sales and support teams in all markets, so we get feedback on what’s working, so it’s best to combine at the times understanding before coming to a solution and better to wait a few more weeks to come to a conclusion,” she said.

Talking about the ratings recovery, Dabur India’s Senior Managing Director and Head of Media, Rajiv Dubey, had said that the company decides its media spend based on several factors including BARC ratings.

“BARC data is not the only thing we use, but it is the main currency because it is supported by all stakeholders. Besides BARC data, several factors determine our media investments. also on our internal feedback system that we have. We also look at other data sources like Zapr, Return Path Data (RPD), etc. So all of this information put together helps us decide on our media spend,” said Dubey.

Besides these factors, Dabur also decides its advertising spend based on market-related factors, including the intensity with which it expands in certain states or geographies, he added.

A senior executive at a leading Hindi news channel said legacy news brands would only be affected if this trend continued for at least a year. “Channels that have seen an increase in viewership of around 15-18% will increase their ad rates if this trend continues for around a year. It will also help them improve their inventory fill rates,” the manager said. .

He cautioned, however, that it’s one thing to get good numbers and quite another to monetize that audience data. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the art of selling, because advertisers aren’t there to raise ad rates. They want to buy inventory at the lowest possible price. Therefore, monetizing the growth of audience share is a big challenge,” the manager added.

Another TV news executive said a news channel rate hike was on the anvil as ratings are back. “The audience share that each channel garners will go a long way in deciding what kind of rate hike each channel will get. The change in pecking order should be a concern for traditional brands,” he noted.

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