Just before the IPL started in this 2023 season, BARC announced the introduction of its OOH (out of home) panel, which would be added to the TV ratings. BARC’s OOH panel has a total sample size of 1,150 eateries (restaurants, lounges, pubs, etc.), the TV channel and program played at restaurants are captured from this sample and extrapolated for 1.15 million eateries in the country added to the overall residential.TV ratings.
Typically, the TV sets at eateries have their audio muted and guests are mostly busy in their conversations and socialising, so one could question as to whether this is actually TV viewership. People are not facing the TV or looking at the program continuously.
Why should advertisers be concerned?
The usage of these ratings can be very misleading to advertisers. lets take the example of the on going TATA IPL and how the Out of Home ratings can mislead advertisers.
The following reach data from BARC is showcased
This being shown as a ratings growth is misleading on the following accounts:
- The viewership and reach is being shared by adding Out of Home Reach Data as well to reach of residential tv viewers. The OOH reach of 52 mn additional people at restaurants not looking at tv with audio muted is not an equivalent viewership reach in residence households measurement.
- The number is being added on to tv viewership and being compared against previous year base when this measurement was not done, key point to note is that the exposure for what its worth was already there was anyways there , except now its being measured by panel therefore, its not additional or growth in reach its just that its being measured now. Advertiser in actual doesn’t get extra reach that visibility exposure and its effects are built into the base.
- This Out of home aspect is really crucial to examine in case of HD viewership nos on TATA IPL.
Here the nos from BARC dissected are as follows:
So the IPL HD reach nos on linear TV is being showcased as 85.6 mn (Inclusive of OOH) .As per BARC only 30.8 are from residential tv households, rest 50 +mn individuals are actually reach from OOH where audiences are not looking / facing and tv and the audio is also muted.
Would advertiser get any value out of reaching these audiences whilst paying premium rates of reaching premium households.
It is unfortunate that BARC is contributing to this misleading data usage by not clarifying and qualifying the quality and contribution of the supposed OOH viewership for Linear TV.
What advertisers need to do?
Advertisers need to ask their media agencies to drive evaluations of all impact properties, including their investments on IPL by negating the reach contribution driven by the OOH segment and then calculate cost per reach or cost per rating point.
Advertisers also need to evaluate the properties for their reach deliveries in residential TV households only as the requisite objective and the pricing is paid for that core TG watching TV at their homes.