BARC India CEO Nakul Chopra held one such meeting on Thursday with members of the All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF), the apex body of multi-system operators (MSOs).
A source privy to the discussions said most of the AIDCF members have expressed their willingness to participate in the RPD project.
The source further stated that BARC will have to complete a listing study to be able to identify sample homes where the RPD-enabled STB/dongle would need to be installed. “The availability of RPD-enabled STB will be evaluated by each member,” he added.
The source noted that the BARC is also considering developing an RPD-enabled device that can be placed in the sample household.
“BARC is saying that DPOs can use its RPD-enabled device rather than individual DPO sourcing RPD-enabled STB from different vendors,” the source added. The BARC will now hold discussions with individual DPOs on the way forward.
It is pertinent to note that the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has been pushing for RPD adoption to improve that audience measurement system and expand the overall panel.In January 2022, the MIB constituted a Joint Working Group to study different aspects of audience viewership capturing including RPD. The five-member committee included former Prasar Bharati CEO SS Vempati besides representatives from MeitY, BIS, BARC, DTH Association, and AIDCF.
The committee had to study successful global best practices in RPD, like that of Canada, the models/ pilots undertaken in India by BARC and other independent experiments by DTH operators and other relevant stakeholders, and formulate a mandate for combining the data sources including RPD if so, decided with the existing sampling methodologies.
Meterology Data Private Limited (MDPL), a 51:49 JV between Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India and TAM Media Research, currently has 50,000 Bar-o-meters with plans to take that number to 65,000 Bar-o-meters over the next 2-3 years.