IBF, ISA, AAAI formally launch BARC

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | March 16, 2012
Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a nationwide audience research joint body, has finally witnessed an official launch.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) have formally launched the entity, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), wherein the IBF will hold 60 per cent stake. Meanwhile, the ISA and AAAI will hold 20 per cent share each in the official body.

For the record, BARC was first formed in 2008 as a joint body by the IBF and the ISA. With an initial investment of Rs 300 million, the former was expected to hold 60 per cent stake, while the latter would hold the remaining 40 per cent. However, ISA wanted the partnership on the account that even the AAAI should be a part of the joint venture.

Paritosh Joshi

Quite similar to BARB (the UK-based Broadcasters' Audience Research Board), BARC will commission independent specialist research vendors to conduct audience measurement. The market research will be commissioned and conducted using appropriate research methodologies in a bid to offer accurate, up to date and relevant findings related to broadcast audiences, including TV ratings. It intends to evaluate the research needs of the industry that will also exhibit commercial sensibility. However, it is pertinent to note here that BARC will not compete with TAM.

Even as the technical committee is being set up, BARC is expected to begin functioning by July, 2012/03. The board of the council will have 10 members - six members from the IBF and two members each from the ISA and AAAI. Once operational, the body will form a team that will permit BARC to begin issuing request for proposals (RFPs) for the television industry's broadcast audience measurement requirements.

Paritosh Joshi, CEO, STAR CJ Alive, who is one of the directors on the IBF Board and has been instrumental in the formation of BARC, says, "It is gratifying that after this long and arduous journey, with endless twists and turns, we have finally arrived at the long-sought destination. I believe this is a transformational moment not just for ratings and audience measurement but for TV in India in general. All of us at IBF feel confident that we have got the formula right and this time it is irrevocable."

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