India's OTT, TV, radio need credible measurement system: TRAI to I&B

TRAI has noted India’s current audience measurement system needs overhaul and suggested to I&B ministry the setting up of a transparent measurement system for OTT, TV and radio

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Data Intelligence Team
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While TV viewership and rating is officially done by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), OTT and radio currently have no third-party measurement system

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or TRAI, has noted that the current audience measurement system in the country needs an overhaul, and suggested to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting the setting up of a credible and transparent measurement and rating system for OTT services, television and radio.

While TV viewership and rating is officially done in India by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), OTT and radio currently have no third-party measurement system.

TRAI released its observations and recommendations in the ‘Recommendations On Inputs For Formulation Of National Broadcasting Policy 2024’.

To analyse the broadcasting industry’s contribution to India’s economy, TRAI has suggested the setting up of a body in collaboration with the National Statistical Office under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme. TRAI believes the parameters should be in terms of gross output and value addition for direct economic contribution, such as generating revenue, employment and subscription. In this context, TRAI said the total contribution from the sectors of broadcast, trade, transport, communication and hotels was 57 per cent of the GDP for the years 2023 and 2024.

TRAI’s suggestions also include granting infrastructure status to the broadcast industry, an issue that has been pending for long.

The regulatory authority recommended the setting up of more than one agency for audience rating and measurement, and the expansion of audience sample size in a way that the measurement manages to capture the essence of diversity that defines India. TRAI added that Return Path Data (RPD) should be used to derive accurate data.

In the television sector, TRAI recommended that the information and broadcasting ministry should introduce subsidised bundled schemes to supply DD Free Dish services to the economically weaker sections. Distribution of television sets should be encouraged, too, besides reactivating and reusing inactive set-top boxes through incentive schemes.

TRAI suggested standardising Right of Way charges across all states in the country, too, for the erecting of towers and laying of cables through a single window clearance and payment system.

TRAI’S suggestions also include increasing scope for employment, startups and exploring ways to making India a hotspot for television channel uplinking. The regulatory body also suggested setting up centres of excellence for broadcasting in leading technological institutes for the propose of research and development of broadcasting technologies.

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