BARC to release viewership data only to its subscribers until further notice
BARC India viewership data will not be made available to anyone other than its subscribers until further notice. This step has been taken following the TRAI-mandated new tariff structure coming into force from February 1, 2019.
In a statement posted on BARC’s website and social media handles, the Council stated, “In light of implementation of TRAI’s new tariff order and on-ground changes, BARC India’s viewership data will be released only to its subscribers until further notice.”
It may be recalled that earlier this month, the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) had issued an advisory to its stakeholders, asking them not to use the BARC viewership data during this transition period for the purpose of media planning, evaluation and buying perspectives. The ISA felt that given the high variance in pre- and post-evaluation of viewership data, it would be unpredictable and hence, unusable.
As is known, the migration to the new tariff regime is currently underway, with TRAI claiming that 65 per cent of cable services subscribers and 35 per cent of DTH subscribers had already migrated to the new MRP regime. However, since a switch off will cause inconvenience to subscribers, TRAI has extended time up to March 31, 2019 to those subscribers who have not yet migrated to exercise their choice.
The advertisers’ body further said that at least 6 weeks would be required to assess the stability of the viewership numbers post the implementation of the new tariff structure.
Meanwhile, ISA is working closely with BARC India to confirm when the viewership data would become stable and usable for media planning and buying.