Middle East TV networks including OSN, MBC, Rotana and Saudi TV have become stakeholders in an independent company that is being set up in Saudi Arabia for TV audience measurement, BroadcastPro Middle East can reveal. The project, which has been initiated by Saudi Arabias Ministry of Culture and Information (MOCI), is being overseen by […]
Middle East TV networks including OSN, MBC, Rotana and Saudi TV have become stakeholders in an independent company that is being set up in Saudi Arabia for TV audience measurement, BroadcastPro Middle East can reveal. The project, which has been initiated by Saudi Arabias Ministry of Culture and Information (MOCI), is being overseen by consultant Arthur D. Little.
Speaking on the sidelines of a roundtable that was held by TECOM at Dubai Media City to announce the media clusters 2011 success stories, Arthur D. Littles Middle East manager Thomas Kuruvilla confirmed that the Saudi TV audience measurement project is making good progress.
This is actually part of an elaborate exercise undertaken by the Saudi government to ensure greater transparency for investors and enabling them to understand who is watching their advertisements and also, which channels are perhaps the most viewed, explained Kuruvilla.
Although the TV audience measurement project is meant to cover all digital content, it will initially focus on TV while other elements, such as radio and online platforms, will be left for a later phase.
Initially, the company will deploy devices for audience measurement in approximately 1,800 to 2,000 residences in Saudi Arabia.
We have chosen this number to ensure we have a good representation from various customer segments, explained Kuruvilla.
Besides the present stakeholders, the company also hopes to attract key advertisers from four of the main advertising segments including telcos, consumer goods, automotive companies, and financial services and banks.
The team is also presently looking to identify a company that can provide an end-to-end audience measurement platform.
Companies are being invited to bid for it as we speak right now. We hope that the whole project will be awarded within a month or two. The technical system will be implemented within a period of six months, and the TV audience measurement itself will begin in about a year. Hopefully, in 18 months, we should have some preliminary reports to share with customers, added Kuruvilla.
“These reports will be available for purchase because this information will enable advertisers to streamline their ads,” he added.
Arthur D. Little is also encouraging collaborative discussions between Saudi MOCI and the Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE.
This collaboration is important as the whole GCC could then move on to a common TV audience measurement system and that would increase its appeal in the region, added Kuruvilla.
For a longer and more comprehensive interview, don’t forget to pick up the CABSAT issue of BroadcastPro Middle East magazine (March issue).