I&B ministry forms Joint Working Group for audience measurement sampling

The group to be led by Prasar Bharati CEO will have representatives from DTH, BIS, Barc, and MeITY

Mumbai: The ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has formed a Joint Working Group to formulate a mandate for exploring data capturing capabilities in Set Top Boxes (STBs) for audience measurement sampling.

With Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati as the chairman and DTH association president Harit Nagpal as a member, the joint working group will have one representative each from MeitY, BIS, Barc India, and AIDCF. It will submit its report to the I&B ministry within the next four months.

The current guidelines for the TV Rating Agencies prescribe the use of panel homes, drawn by establishment survey and representative of the TV viewing population, for carrying out the Audience measurement. However, the latest recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) and TRP committee headed by Prasar Bharati CEO suggested combining traditional sample-based statistical approaches with big data approaches like Return Path Data in STBS.

The new working group has been entrusted to study different aspects of the data capturing including Return Path Data (RPD) in the context of the audience measurement, international practices, and security of the viewership data. “It will also study successful global best practices in RPD, like that of Canada, the models undertaken by Barc India and other independent experiments by DTH operators and other relevant stakeholders,” said the ministry on Wednesday.

The Group will specify minimum standards for RPD capable STBS, SOPs for certification and audit of the same, and specify common protocols, data standards, and modifications to current rating methodology so that data from RpD capable STBS could be integrated into the current TV ratings system.

Additionally, it will specify minimum standards for any smartphone-based Apps to augment the above proposed RPD system for integration into the current TV ratings.

-Specify SOPs for certification and audit of the same.

-Evolve a consensus for how such different data sets including RpD/ smartphone-based data collection will be priced/ costs shared within the framework of the TV ratings system.

-Specify consent-based privacy framework to govern all such data collection and use within TV ratings.

-Establish timelines for rollout of above with a clear roadmap to guide all stakeholders while laying out points of responsibility for the same. 

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