You are being watched......





Every time the seconds hand of your watch moves, some innovation has taken place on this earth. We have seen this technological advancement in almost all the fields. So how can this be not seen in some very lucrative and a favorite segment like television viewer ship. In fact the television set itself has technologically evolved to such an extent that people are speaking of owing a television set which would give them the 3D experience. The advancement in the way the channels are provided to the viewers also took place hand in hand with the advancement in the television sets. The television set was a rare commodity when it was introduced in Indian market. But with time it has become the need of every household. The viewer ship has increased to such an extent that people have started to call it idiot box. Anyways the idiot box doesn't sound that idiot option when it comes to advertising on television or to put it in marketing jargon should I say digital advertising.


Initially it was a simple task at hand as only handful of channels were available. The corporates were aware of the most popular serials on these channels and were pretty sure that almost everyone views it across India. So once the ad is accepted by the consumer, put it on these channels during the ad slots of these serials and see the products move like hot cakes in the market. But with more channels coming in, the viewers got more options to choose from and then the advertisers had actual challenge of choosing the right time slot for the advertisement. The concept of viewership came into picture at this particluar time, obviously because the corporates were keen to know about the time slots when most viewers view a particular program on a particular channel. We also had transformation from anteenas to cables to DTH for making the channels available.

The 1st player to provide DTH technology in Indian market was Sun Direct TV Pvt. Ltd. Initial penetration was a bit slow but within no time consumers started to shift to this technology and Sun had a huge consumer base of millions of customers. Seeing the need of this technology in market many players entered in this venture and became competitors of Sun. Its not more than 3 years this technology is introduced and we already have some big players like Airtel Digital TV, Reliance Big TV, Videocon D2H +, Tata Sky TV and Zee Dish TV, each one having a reasonable market share. With various schemes and strategic pricing each player is trying to woo the customers and it has really become a cut throat competition. Now the challenge was marketers needed the data on viewership and there was this advancement of technology in broadcasting. At this juncture gathering the viewership data was a real need of marketers as well as channel providers. And here lied a huge business opportunity for aMap. Audience Measurement Analytics Ltd. (aMap) is established in 2004 and is India's only and the world's largest overnight television audience measurement system. With the latest technology and system driven procedures for collecting and disseminating reliable and quality data, aMap's panel of TV viewing households covers towns with 1 Lakh+ population spread all over the country. Markets reported by aMap include those uniquely covered by it such as Jammu, Guwahati, Bihar and Jharkhand. aMap publishes audience measurement data on an overnight basis which is the norm in many countries the world over.


aMap provides data on multiple dimensions like demographics, ownership, viewership etc. The television advertisement industry is highly competitive and the media houses are becoming very choosy and particular when it comes to spending on the advertisement shown on the television. With new channels and new programmes introduced almost every month the audience is becoming choosy and selective in viewing any particular programme. This has resulted to highly segemented market and targeting to the right audience has become very important. The increase in sales of the product is the measurement of the sucess of the ad. So to pluck the right cord by targeting the right audience is the key here. The viewership and the sample size of the segment has become very important as it gives the advertiser a lot of information about the lifestyle, the consumption pattern, the buying behaviour, the feel good factor, brand loyalty etc etc. aMaps addresses these needs through:
  • Overnight Measurement
  • Customisation of Target Groups
  • A Robust System
  • Decision Support Systems
With aMap, one can check Ratings till Yesterday in TGs like:
  • Housewives with Washing Machines
  • Chief Wage Earners with PCs
  • Graduates & Post Graduates
  • Businessmen in SEC A, B
  • College Students with Car at Home
  • And many more…
Under a license from Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, aMap collects viewership data using Telecontrol VIII data collection units sourced from Telecontrol AG, and wireless connections using GSM modems.
aMap uses Telecontrol VIII data recording units to collect TV viewership data from TVs in the sample homes. The Telecontrol unit is connected to the television receiver and it automatically registers/stores the information about the channel to which the TV set is currently tuned. This device can store up to approximately seven days' viewership information.

A GSM modem is connected to each Telecontrol unit. The central server calls up each of the Telecontrol units in sample homes to pick up the data stored therein. aMap's technology architecture enables instant data collection from the sample homes as often as desired. It also enables conducting of instant opinion polls about the programs being telecast. The collected data is instantaneously incorporated into the aMap reports.
At present the central server calls up all the sample homes between 2:00 AM and 4:00 AM IST (Indian Standard Time) to collect the data. In case the data from some of the homes/ units can not be collected in the first attempt, the server dials that home again after 5 minutes, and makes the third attempt after 1.30 hours. After 3 trials, the server gives up. If non-collection of data is caused by the problems with cellular connection, the data can be collected later at any time over next seven days.
The system generates a list of sample homes from which the data could not be collected. These failures are investigated on the same day. The possible causes of failure in data collection are:


  • The Telecontrol power failure
  • The Telecontrol unit disconnection/dysfunctionality
  • The sample home being locked
  • The problems with cellular connection etc.


The Telecontrol system can respond to every possible use of a television screen, including viewing videos, playing TV games and using Teletext. Moreover, the design of the Telecontrol unit and its interactive system can be adapted to the psychological requirements of the panel household members, a key reason for its very high degree of acceptance and the widespread willingness to enter information. Some of the countries which use this application to collect data on viewership are Austria, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Portugal etc.
    The viewership data is customised as per the requirement by aMap. It has ample of parameters which are measured. You can select the combination of parameters which are relevant to your product or services. The parameters give you the personal information, the information of the household, the viewership information etc. To name a few, the parameters are,
    • Ownership of various assets
    • Age
    • Gender
    • Occupation
    • Occupation status & much more.......
    aMap, in collaboration with DecisionCraft Analytics Limited, offers Decision Support System development consulting services. These services are powered by DecisionCraft's strong modeling expertise. According to them some typical areas where intelligent DSS can create significant value are:

    1. Revenue management
     2. Understanding the drivers of TV viewership
     3. Program scheduling
     4. Pricing Solutions
     5. Media plan optimization
     6. TRP forecasting
     7. Media buying

    The servers record the logos of the program and the time that particular program is viewed along with the total time the TV being viewed. It records varios other information like the category of the programme, the language, the start time, the end time, the total duration, total time of advertisement viewed and much more.The data is provided in flat file format. The daily logs are ready 24 hours after the end of the TV day. A TV day is defined to start at 2:00 AM and end at 2:00 AM on the next day. aMap's content analysis team comprises of psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and statisticians. aMap provides customized content analysis service to the broadcasters and communication research organization as per the classification schema defined by them. aMap's services include recording of the broadcasted TV content in mpeg format, and archiving it.The output data files can be provided in any format desired by the clients.

    We have 479.5 million television viewers everyday. With such huge viewership having a detailed analysis is a key for right advertising at right place at right time to ensure that it is viewed by right people. For advertisers it helps them understand if the position of the ad is correct and accordingly take appropriate action, to check the efficiency of the ad, to understand if there is over spending or under spending on a particular ad campaign & to decide on the continuity of the ad for a particular time period. For broadcasters it gives information on the lost opportunity by their sales team, the share of the particular channel being viewed amongst all the channels viewed. This data helps media planners to schedule the ads, to check the effectiveness of the advertisement, to check the ad spots and the time available to air an advertisement etc.

    As a viewer it just takes a few seconds to view the ad but did anyone really think of the efforts put in to ensure you watch that ad on that channel at that time of the day? P.S. - For further information please visit www.audiencemap.com. Some part of information provided here is taken from the same website.

    Article By - Pranav Joshi
    You are being watched...... You are being watched...... Reviewed by Pranav Joshi on 06:15 Rating: 5

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