BARC defines a free connection as one where the household incurs only a small one-time fee for installing the set-top box. Photo: Mint
BARC defines a free connection as one where the household incurs only a small one-time fee for installing the set-top box. Photo: Mint

BARC India to start reporting viewership from free and pay platforms

  • The new pay and free platform variable will be offered over and above the current urban and rural models
  • In the Hindi-speaking markets, two out of 10 homes have free connections, a statement from BARC said, accounting for almost 140 million TV viewing individuals

NEW DELHI : Television monitoring agency BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) has said it will now start reporting viewership for free and pay platforms separately.

The new pay and free platform variable will be offered over and above the current urban and rural models that are reported separately by BARC India. Besides being published on its website for select genres, it will be made available to all subscribers for planning and analysis through its proprietary BARC Media Workstation Software.

A statement from BARC defines a free connection as one where the household incurs only a small one-time fee for installing the set-top box. The major player in this area is DD Free Dish. The household does not pay a monthly subscription fee unlike what private DTH (direct-to-home) services command. In contrast, a pay connection is one where the subscriber invests an initial amount for installation and an ongoing monthly subscription fee.

In the Hindi-speaking markets, two out of 10 homes have free connections, a statement from BARC said, accounting for almost 140 million TV viewing individuals. The pay and free viewer differs significantly not only in terms of demographics, but also their characteristics, values, lifestyle and psychographics, it added.

Reporting viewership from pay and free platform separately would enable focused targeting for both advertisers and broadcasters, according to BARC. The former can plan more effectively by placing insertions on the channels available on these platforms in the respective regions. The latter can also make more informed decisions pertaining to content and distribution.

“There has been a strong demand from the market for separate reporting of viewership from homes with pay and free connections. We have taken the market feedback in consideration with the changes that have come about in the ecosystem post the implementation of the tariff order. We believe this move is a step in the right direction to empower the industry in understanding the distinct consumption patterns of this segment and plan more effectively," Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India said in a statement.

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