BARC India announces phased roll-out of Ekam

The digital measurement tools aim to provide industry with neutral, robust data and address advertisers' concern

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The television audience measurement system, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, on Monday, announced the phased roll-out of its digital measurement service ‘Ekam’ (Sanskrit for ‘one’). As the name suggests, with the launch of the digital products, BARC India aims to provide the industry with a single platform for all measurement products, across TV and digital.

“BARC India is working towards its goal of integrating TV and digital measurement. Our EKAM suite of products will be rolled out over the next 18-24 months. It will provide the industry with independent third-party measurement, verification of audience and eventually viewability of video ads and content,” says Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India.

EKAM Pulse, EKAM Beam, EKAM Stream, EKAM Ad-Scan and EKAM Integra are the five products that have been designed based on industry-specific needs.

1.    Ekam Pulse: To measure video ad campaigns; will be the first product that will be rolled out.
2.    EKAM Beam: To measure linear broadcast that is viewed on a digital device.
3.    EKAM Stream: To measure both non-linear and pure play digital video content.
4.    EKAM Ad-Scan: A global first-of-its-kind product which will give an overview of digital ads in India, look at where the advertising money is being spent and which sectors are producing more digital ads.
5.    Ekam Integra: Will help the industry with common, robust and independent audience numbers that will give more accurate incremental reach figures. To enable this, BARC India’s TV data will be tied with Digital Video data with the help of Single-Source and Digital Booster panels on top of the census measurement and big data.

The move is set to be a game changer for the digital content industry and its key stakeholders – broadcasters and advertisers. It is well-known that advertising revenue is the dominant business model for most over-the-top streaming platforms, and the ad-revenue depends largely on the reach and viewership which the platform provides. And this, until now, was measured by individual content platforms in-house. This raised issues such as dependency on publishers/platforms for data, lack of quantifiable differences in impressions, inability to see unique and de-duplicated reach and frequency across publishers/platforms and lack of knowledge on return on investment.

“Digital advertisers are looking for “consistent and comparable viewership numbers... BARC India will offer neutral data which is not biased towards broadcasters or advertisers. We will be able to give the true reach of digital which will be common currency,” Jamie Kenny, business head – digital, BARC India, had said during a panel discussion at the Ficci Frames summit earlier this year.

With Ekam’s launch, BARC India will be able to provide unique Reach and Frequency across devices de-duplicated by Brand, Campaign, Site or Placement. In addition, the Single-Source Panel, large television and Digital Booster panels, Census level impressions and Big Data on Digital side, will offer a much more robust and accurate ability to show key metrics like incremental reach.

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