EKAM rollout, BARC as data+insights Co top Nakul Chopra’s agenda in 2018

It’s a busy time ahead in 2018 for Nakul Chopra, Senior Advisor, Publicis Communications. Earlier this month, Chopra was elected Chairman of BARC India, succeeding Sudhanshu Vats, CEO, Viacom18 Group, who successfully completed his one-year tenure as Chairman. 

Chopra is the third Chairman of BARC India. He had joined the BARC India Board in September 2016 and since then has been an integral part of the various decisions taken by the Board. 

In July 2017, Chopra was re-elected President of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) for the year 2017-2018 at its Annual General Body Meeting. AAAI and The Ad Club recently announced the 13th edition of Goafest, which will be held from April 5 to 7. Chopra is also a member of the Awards Governing Council for the celebrated Abbys 2018. 

On being elected as BARC India Chairman, Chopra said, “BARC India has been very busy in the past one year, as it further consolidated its TV measurement business. 2017 has also been the year when groundwork was done for key future projects, and in the year ahead, I am looking forward to oversee their implementation. Top on that list is the rollout of EKAM - our digital measurement products. Expansion of TV sample using Return Path Data will be the other big piece to watch out for. We are all thankful to Sudhanshu for his leadership over the past year and I very much look forward to working closely with Partho (Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India) and his excellent team over the coming year.” 

Under Vats’ Chairmanship, BARC India expanded its sample panel homes from 20,000 to 30,000. Under his tenure, BARC India also announced its partnership with multi system operator DEN Networks for Return Path Data and announced the digital measurement partner. 

In an e-mail interaction with Adgully, Nakul Chopra reveals his top three priorities as the BARC India Chairman, the key focus areas, challenges ahead, trends in 2018 and more. 

What would be your top three priorities after taking charge as the BARC India Chairman?
My two predecessors have set very high standards and hence, my job is clearly cut out. The top priority is the rollout of EKAM – our digital measurement product. Expanding our panel home size using Return Path Data (RPD) and fusing it with our TV viewership currency is also a priority. At BARC, we are keen to transform from a data company to a data+insights company – many new products are on the anvil in this regard, including data visualisation products that will add immense value to our end users. I hope to work closely with Partho and his excellent team to realise these priorities. 

What will be your focus areas for 2018?
Rolling out the first EKAM product will naturally be a key focus area. It did take us some time to get all the stakeholders on the same page – but this was extremely important given what is at stake. That we are on course to launch the first third party digital measurement system is in itself a great achievement. As is the case for television, we aim to give the industry a robust digital measurement system. 

Another key focus that we are currently working on is the next Universe re-estimation and update, which will capture changes in the television landscape. 

Also, as I have said earlier, our insight products will be a focus, as will be our effort to sign up more distribution platforms for RPD. 

What do you see as the challenges ahead?
BARC India caters to a very dynamic industry – television. The choices available to a television viewer are vast and growing – India no longer exhibits uniform viewership behaviour. While viewership is growing, it is increasingly getting fragmented – reflecting the ever-changing character of the television viewer. We now seek to additionally cater to another very dynamic market – as digital viewing takes root and starts to flourish. Meeting the industry’s measurement needs to target the right consumer in such dynamic markets is indeed a challenge – one that both the BARC team and I look forward to. 

When is the digital measurement system expected to be launched?
As I said, we are on course for the launch of our first product. We hope to start in the second half of 2018. You will surely hear from us closer to the date of launch. 

How do you plan to go about expanding TV sample using Return Path Data?
We have already tied up with DEN Networks for measuring viewership via RPD. We hope to announce very soon similar partnerships with other platforms as well. With these partnerships, we hope to increase the home panel size from 30,000 to between 150,000 and 200,000. This will not only give us scale, but also help reduce issues with regard to panel infiltration. 

What are the trends that you foresee in the coming years?
Clearly TV viewership will continue to grow and fragment at the same time. We are witnessing green shoots of HD viewership already – we expect this growth to gain momentum in the years ahead. As families fragment, we are likely to see a gradual trend away from family viewership to individual viewing. Growth of digital is already catalysing this trend and will only continue to do so faster. It will be our endeavour – with our television measurement system, coupled with our proposed insight products and with the addition of EKAM – to partner with the industry to have a true measure and understanding of these trends.


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