and Analytics (aMap) announced plans for a pan-India presence at a press meet in Mumbai on November 22. It would cover markets such as Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand and Guwahati, which are not part of the TAM Map. It also said it had successfully installed 6,000 people meters.
Senior executives did not pass up any opportunity to debunk TAM's (Television Audience Measurement) claim to market leadership. So much so that Raviratan Arora, managing director, aMap, pointed to doubts being raised over TAM's claim of 4,800 people meters. He claimed that aMap had installed around 6,000 people meters, and there were enough ways to prove this number.
He also expressed doubts about the neutrality of TAM data, saying that there was an inbuilt 'moral hazard' plaguing the system today. According to him, WPP had a stake in ACNielsen, one of the joint venture partners in Tam Media Research, and the WPP agencies were bound to be more in favour of the TAM data rather than worry about advertisers' interest.
Raviratan AroraHowever, Arora was also quick to add, "We are not here to compete with TAM or substitute it." According to him, it was for the advertisers and broadcasters to decide which data were more robust and reliable.
Despite such strong claims, however, he conceded that media planners still resisted use of other than TAM data.
Arora also claimed that TAM data was always inflated, and that was also why broadcasters still used it. He referred to the rating of the reality show 'Saregama' on Zee which, according to TAM, had got a rating of about 10, while aMap ratings said it was only around three.
According to Arora, aMap data gave better rating for the niche and special interest channels. When Arora was asked whether aMap data was more suitable for such niche channels, he hastened to add that it was meant for both general interest and niche channels.
aMap claims to have about 46 broadcasters already queuing up for its data. Of this, on questioning, aMap officials revealed that these included channels from various networks, amounting to only 10 subscribers individually, and out of these 46 channels, 21 would be from the Zee bouquet, which is a subscriber of aMap. However, Arora claimed that although the number of actual subscribers is less, there are more people using the aMap data.
About the limited subscriber base and the lack of confidence of the industry in aMap ratings, Arora said, "Initially, when we started our offering was incomplete. And now with a pan-India reach, we are confident of adding more names in the list and break the resistance prevalent in the industry."
Talking about the technological advancements of aMap over TAM, Arora said that while TAM data provided ratings for every minute, aMap provided for every second. This enabled advertisers to calculate the exact viewership rating for the time when the TVC was aired.
In a few years, aMap plans to implement people meters in about 20,000 homes across India, and will soon roll out a measurement tool for radio.
However, as of now, TAM certainly has the backing of industry bodies such as IBF (Indian Broadcasting Federation) and AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India). Even advertisers and broadcasters continue to use the data in all their promotional materials. aMap probably needs to fight it stronger.
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