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THE MEDIA MARCH 2017_DIGITAL

television research TThe August 2016 audit report Becoming accustomed to credible television research The new Television Audience Measurement Survey has revealed trends in the TV sector. BRITTA REID analyses the data. reassured the media industry that “the current state of the BRC TAMS panel is good”. The auditor, Robert Ruud, added, the service “has improved significantly since this auditor first saw the system in 2013. The panel has increased by 50%. The polling rate has gone up. The households that pass the daily quality control and are reported has gone up. The coverage has gone up. The weighting efficiency has gone up, and the weighting ranges and maximum weight has come down to acceptable levels”. While the industry may have become accustomed to such positive assessments, five years ago it was discovered that the TAMS panel was severely dysfunctional. The achievement of the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) and Nielsen in restoring the panel to health within a year is remarkable. Ruud rightly highlights the “rigorous daily as well as weekly oversight and management of Nielsen by the BRC research director, coupled with the strategic direction given by the BRC CEO in the management of the BRC TAMS service”, which ensure that “a stable, credible service” is delivered to the industry. Supporting the BRC staff, research savvy representatives of the TV broadcasters sit on the BRC TAMS Research Committee, scrutinising the results on a regular basis and ensuring data credibility and transparent management. Credibility and transparency has been further improved with the establishment of the TAMS User Group Forums, which facilitate engagement between the BRC, the media agencies and their representative body, Advertising Media Forum (AMF). 2017 will see the introduction of the first Establishment Survey (ES), funded by the BRC (68%) and the Publishers Research Council (PRC) (32%). Due for release in March, this will be truly representative of the South African population. Besides providing the media industry with the view of the South African population size, composition and cross platform broad media consumption habits, it will also serve as the recruiting source for the TAMS panel. the transition wil not be simple. Educating the media, advertising and marketing industries about the new segmentation wil be a massive task . The TAMS panel will have to be aligned to the ES. Considerable groundwork has already been done for this alignment. Because both the ES sample and TAMS panel are based on IHS population data, the current TAMS panel already reflects the racial composition of the country. The ES sample is based on new area definitions. The existing panel shows a 97% fit of households with the new definitions, so this final adjustment should not be too daunting. The biggest challenge will be the adoption of a new socio-economic measure on the TAMS panel. Ruud has repeatedly pointed out that LSMs are “the TAMS systems biggest problem” as they are not “fit for purpose in a longitudinal study”. Ruud advised advertisers to avoid planning on LSMs as ratings fluctuations over time mean that planned schedules are unlikely to deliver the intended results. LSMs are largely durable based, and the acquisition of a single item e.g. DStv access can change the household status. This is especially true in mid band households, where multigenerational families and employment driven movement drive the expansion and contraction of households, and concomitant changes in durable ownership. The scale of the issue is considerable: in the first six months of 2016, 33.7% of TAMS households changed LSM grouping. Such fluctuations not only affect rating delivery, but also place a sizable and expensive administrative burden on Nielsen trying to maintain the panel balance. As part of their ES contract, TNS has been tasked with the development of a new household-based, bespoke socioeconomic measurement, which will be more discriminating and relevant to the evolving South African population than LSMs. The first ES data release will facilitate the introduction of the new measures to the panel. However, the transition will not be simple. Educating the media, advertising and marketing industries about the new segmentation will be a massive task. The transition will be complicated by the fact that big advertisers make commitments and deals with the broadcasters that span a full year. While Chris Hitchings, CEO of DStv Media Sales, confirmed that “we are very excited about the future of the new ES and have full confidence in the BRC’s ability to manage the transition to a rebalanced panel as well as the introduction of the SEMs”, he also pointed out that “obviously it will be important for us to work closely with the industry in managing these important changes and we look forward to doing so.” The onus for determining the way forward in terms of trading, lies with the broadcasters and their clients, not with the BRC. The launch To page 10 8 | themedia www.wagthedog.co.za


THE MEDIA MARCH 2017_DIGITAL
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