Open main menu

Broadcast Audience Research Council

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India is a joint industry company founded by stakeholder bodies that represent Broadcasters, Advertisers and Advertising & Media Agencies. Built upon a robust and future-ready technology backbone, BARC India owns and manages a transparent, accurate, and inclusive TV audience measurement system. Apart from the currency products to the TV industry, BARC India also provides a suite of Insight products designed for broadcasters, advertisers and agencies. The Big Data and Insights generated by BARC India powers efficient media spends and content decisions in a highly dynamic and growing television sector. currently being scaled up to 180,000 individuals, BARC India is also the largest measurement company of its kind in the world. It uses Audio Watermarking technology to measure viewership of TV channels, and the system also allows measurement of time-shifted viewing and simulcasts. The company was incorporated in 2010 and is based in Mumbai, India.[1]

Broadcast Audience Research Council India
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Key people
Punit Goenka (Chairman)

Partho Dasgupta (CEO)

Romil Ramgarhia (COO) Edit this on Wikidata

With the viewership habits of over 197 million TV households (accounting for 836 million TV viewing individuals)[1] being analysed by BARC India, it is the world's largest television audience measurement service.[2] Its measurement system is based on a sample of 40,000 "panel homes" which will go up to 50,000 panel homes.[3] It launched its TV viewership measurement service in April 2015, with coverage of C&S TV homes in towns with a population of 1 lakh and above.[4] In October 2015, it started measuring All India TV homes (TV viewers in urban and rural India)[5]

BARC India was planned and executed as an alternative to TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, the audience measurement system put in place by information and insights firm Nielsen and Kantar Media, a WPP company.[6] It was set up as per guidelines of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India.[7]

Punit Goenka, MD & CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, has been elected as the Chairman of BARC India. Punit succeeds Nakul Chopra, who completed his one-year tenure as Chairman.[8][9]

Partho Dasgupta is the CEO of BARC India


About BARC IndiaEdit

BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) India is an industry body set up to design, commission, supervise and own an accurate, reliable and timely television audience measurement system for India. It currently measures TV Viewing habits of 197 million TV households in the country, using 40,000 sample panel homes. This will go up to 50,000 in the next couple of years, as mandated by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.[3]

Guided by the recommendations of the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) and MIB notifications of January 2014, BARC India brings together the three key stakeholders in television audience measurement - broadcasters, advertisers, and advertising and media agencies, via their apex bodies.

BARC India is committed towards establishing a robust, transparent and accountable governance framework for providing data points that are required to plan media spends more effectively.

Standardization Certificates obtained by BARC India are CESP France Certification in April 2017 which validates representativeness of BARC India's TV Measurement Panel and by ISI, Kolkata in May 2018 certifying the representativeness of BARC India's Panel Design & Household Selection

Genesis of BARC IndiaEdit

Nielsen (the owner of TAM Media along with Kantar Media) was sued by Indian TV channel NDTV for $810 million for fraud and $580 million for negligence in a New York court. NDTV's weighty lawsuit—194 pages; targeted at over 30 companies and individuals; and $1.4 billion in damages—against TAM and its investors accused them of deliberately publishing corrupt and tainted data, favoring rival channels in return for bribes. NDTV also alleged that Nielsen and Kantar were not funding TAM India adequately in order to increase its scale and invest in systems, security and quality procedures. A statement in the lawsuit read: “The primary remedy (of the corrupt activities) was to increase sample size from 8,000 boxes to 30,000 boxes, immediately stopping publication of data until the sample size was increased to appropriate levels."[10][11][12]

The case was dismissed by the New York court on the issue of jurisdiction and asked NDTV to fight the legal battle in India.[13]

NDTV subsequently unsubscribed from TAM's services only to subscribe again in May 2014 citing the lack of alternate sources for such data as the TAM provided and the arrival of BARC as a new measuring standard in the industry.[14]

BARC LaunchEdit

After nearly two years of being in the making (2013-2015), BARC's new ratings system formally rolled out in April 2015. Since most broadcasters had decided not to continue their subscription to TAM India, the industry underwent a ratings darkness period since April 1 where the old TAM software had been given up, and the new BARC India ratings software was yet to be installed. The broadcasters had a feel of these ratings a couple of weeks before the official rollout when BARC India made a presentation to share household level data. While there were no major changes, channel ranking across genres, gaps between channels widened or narrowed.

The initial rollout of the new ratings included a sample size of 10,000 Bar-o-meters, and covered the towns and cities with a population of 1,00,000 or more. Although this was less than what BARC India had assured to launch with, by October 2015, the sample reporting was scaled up to 20,000 Bar-o-meters, covering all 153 mn TV owning homes in India.[15] The sample has been since scaled up to 30,000 homes. As of 1 July 2017, BARC India has stopped reporting of analogue TV homes, in line with Government of India's DAS-4 deadline.

At launch, the following changes were introduced:

  • A deeper and broader consumer classification system called new consumer classification system (NCCS), replaced the existing socio-economic classification (SEC). While SEC was based on occupation of chief earner and education of chief earner, NCCS is based on education of chief earner and number of ‘consumer durables’ owned by the family which includes a list of 11 items ranging from ‘electricity connection’ and ‘agricultural land’ to cars and air conditioners
  • The age groups as a reporting parameter will be different adapting to the NCCS. Under BARC, data would be available for age parameters like – children (4–8 years), tweens & schoolers (9–14 years), youth (15–21 years), young adults (22–30 years), adults (31–40 years), peak (41–50 years), mature (51–60 years), and seniors (61+ years). An addition in the reporting age groups are 2-12 years and 13-21 years.
  • The new ratings system under BARC also measured catch-up TV viewing along with linear viewer
  • It made use of the channel watermarking technology that video content consumption on all platforms using an encoding process that involves inserting an inaudible audio watermark into the content at the broadcaster's end from where the signal will play out
  • Since the people-meters under BARC, called BAR-o-meters, were manufactured domestically, the ratings measurement system would be able to scale up faster. These meters, were available at a lower cost than those imported from various countries globally[16]

BARC India ProductsEdit

BIO News: It is a visualisation tool for News broadcasters that gives the performance of News channel, News Stories, News Anchors and Other Personalities at a click of a button.[17]

BIO Advision: It is a visualisation tool for Advertisers and Media Agencies which helps brands understand their performance vis-à-vis other brands.

PreView: It is a service wherein BARC India subscribers can access the data of a specific event or show, three days after it is telecast. PreView data is also released through the BARC Media Workstation (BMW) software, which is available on subscription.[18]

TV + OOH: BARC India now measures and reports TV viewership that happens in social hot-spots like restaurants, pubs, and bars across 120+ Urban towns and cities.[19][20]

Spot Trek: Provides reports on advertising monitored spots to the agency

BARC: TV Audience Measurement MethodologyEdit

The entire BARC India process can be broadly bucketed as follows:

· Establishment Survey - A research study used to gather specific details of households and individuals to be used together with Census data in the preparation of universe estimates for TV audience characteristics – geographic, demographic, socio-economic status, etc. The Establishment Survey also serves as a randomly selected pool of TV owning households for use in the ongoing selection and recruitment of panel households

· Panel Locations & Identification - Identification of a specific sample locations

· Panel Selection and Training- Selection, recruitment, meter installation & training of household members

· Panel Management- Supervision of panel operations with strict adherence to established standards

· Measurement and Viewing Data Capture- Watermarking and BAR-O-Meter Technology used to identify & capture TV viewing events

· Processing, Audience Estimation and Reporting- Process of error checking, editing, validating, weighting, projecting to universe and delivering audience estimates to BARC India clients in a form suitable for reporting, analysis and commercial use

· BARC India Media Workstation (BMW)- BARC's desktop software application used to report and analyse audience data in the

format required by individual customer segments.[21]

Return Path DataEdit

BARC India has tied up with DEN Networks,[22] Siti Cable & Airtel Digital TV[23] for measuring TV viewership using Return Path Data (RPD) via their digital set top boxes (STBs). The move will help expand panel home size from the current 30,000 to over 150,000 in the near future. The large pool of panel households will also help address the issue of panel home tampering plaguing the TV industry in India.

As part of this partnership, BARC India will fetch data from STBs of DTH and Multi System Operators (MSOs), who will also use this data for subscriber management, packaging opportunities and to drive advertising revenue on their in-house channels.

BARC India is currently in talks with other players for RPD.[24]

The RPD initiative in India will be sample based and will exist in addition to BARC India's BAR-O-Meters.


After the exit of TAM India from television measurement business in India, one of its parent companies Nielsen has been appointed by BARC India as it digital measurement partner.[25] BARC India's digital measurement service will be made available under the umbrella brand EKAM (Sanskrit for ‘one’), and is promised to be a single platform for all measurement products, across TV and digital.[26]

EKAM Pulse, EKAM Beam, EKAM Stream, EKAM Ad-Scan and EKAM Integra are the five products that have been designed based on industry-specific needs.

1. Ekam Pulse: To measure video ad campaigns; will be the first product that will be rolled out.

2. EKAM Beam: To measure linear broadcast that is viewed on a digital device.

3. EKAM Stream: To measure both non-linear and pure play digital video content.

4. EKAM Ad-Scan: A global first-of-its-kind product which will give an overview of digital ads in India, across the competition at an aggregate level.

5. Ekam Integra: Will help the industry with common, robust and independent audience numbers that will give more accurate incremental reach figures. To enable this, BARC India's TV data will be tied with Digital Video data with the help of Single-Source and Digital Booster panels on top of the census measurement and big data.

The move is set to be a game changer for the digital content industry and its key stakeholders – broadcasters and advertisers. It is well known that advertising revenue is the dominant business model for most over-the-top streaming platforms, and the ad-revenue depends largely on the reach and viewership which the platform provides. And this, until now, was measured by individual content platforms in-house. This raised issues such as dependency on publishers/platforms for data, lack of quantifiable differences in impressions, inability to see unique and de-duplicated reach and frequency across publishers/platforms and lack of knowledge on return on investment.

In order to meet the needs and challenges of digital measurement, BARC India has been guided by its Digital Technical Committee, which has representation from all major players in the sector, including Google, Facebook, Hotstar, Voot, Zee5, Sony, P&G, HUL, Flipkart, Group M, Madison, IPG and Omnicom Media Group.[27][28]

Broadcast India SurveyEdit

BARC India's Broadcast India Survey is an annual research study that gathers specific details of households and individuals to be used together with Census data in the preparation of universe estimates for TV audience characteristics – geographic, demographic, socio-economic status, etc. The Survey also serves as a randomly selected pool of TV owning households for use in the ongoing selection and recruitment of panel households.

Broadcast India 2016 Survey [29] was released in February 2017. The findings of Broadcast India (BI) 2018 Survey[30] was released in July 2018. The study is based on a sample of 3 lakh homes in the country. As per the latest BI 2018 Survey, TV homes in the country have seen a 7.5% jump,[31] outpacing the growth of homes in India which grew at 4.5%. India currently boasts of 298 million homes,[32] of which 197 million have a TV set, having an opportunity of almost 100mn[33] more TV homes in the country.


  1. ^ "Broadcast Audience Research Council: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  2. ^ "Total TV universe up to 183 mn, rate of rural growth higher than urban: BARC survey". Indian Television Dot Com. 2017-02-17. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  3. ^ a b Malvania, Urvi (2018-12-13). "TV ratings provider BARC aims to have 50,000 panel homes, make use of AI". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  4. ^ Kohli-Khandekar, Vanita (2015-07-07). "BARC's biggest achievement was getting the funding going: Partho Dasgupta". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  5. ^ "BARC measures habits of 153.5 mn TV households but it's not a Census: Partho Dasgupta | Business Standard News". Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  6. ^ Bansal, Shuchi (2015-12-31). "A milestone year for media". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  7. ^ "Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India". Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Reporter, B. S. (2019-01-29). "Zee Entertainment's Punit Goenka named as new chairman of BARC India". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  10. ^ "Fixing Indian TV's Audience Measurement Problems | Forbes India". Forbes India. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  11. ^ "NDTV sues Nielsen for fraud, negligence - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  12. ^ "Fixing Indian TV's Audience Measurement Problems | Forbes India". Forbes India. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  13. ^ "U.S. court asks NDTV to fight legal battle in India". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  14. ^ "Why NDTV chose to re-subscribe to TAM". Indian Television Dot Com. 2014-05-09. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  15. ^ "BARC India includes rural in all India data; major changes in viewership". Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  16. ^ Malvania, Viveat Susan Pinto & Urvi (2015-04-29). "BARC ratings expected to roll out on April 29". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  17. ^ "Analytics India Magazine".
  18. ^ "BARC India launches 'PreView' service". Best Media Info.
  19. ^ "BARC India integrates OOH and TV audience measurement - ET BrandEquity". Retrieved 2019-05-21.
  20. ^ "BARC India ventures into OOH viewership measurement; Star first network to sign-up for service". Television Post.
  21. ^ "Description Of Methodology - BARC India". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  22. ^ "BARC India partners with Den Networks to measure TV viewership". Times of India.
  23. ^ "BARC India ties up with Airtel Digital TV to use RPD for viewership measurement". The Hindu Business Line.
  24. ^ Bansal, Shuchi (2018-08-01). "The benefits of RPD in television viewership data". Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  25. ^ Choudhary, Vidhi (2017-07-04). "Barc India partners Nielsen for digital measurement". Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  26. ^ Bureau, Our (2017-07-21). "BARC gears up to launch digital viewership measurement tool Ekam". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
  27. ^ "Nielsen appointed BARC India's primary digital measurement partner". Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  28. ^ "BARC India announces phased roll-out of Ekam | Forbes India". Forbes India. Retrieved 2017-09-08.
  29. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (2017-03-03). "TV viewers in India now much more than all of Europe's". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  30. ^ "News and Media - BARC India". Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  31. ^ "Number of homes with TV sets grows by 7.5% to 197 million, says BARC". The Financial Express. 2018-07-26. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  32. ^ Laghate, Gaurav (2018-07-26). "Indians are watching TV for 3 hour 44 minutes every day: BARC India". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-08-05.
  33. ^ Reporter, B. S. (2018-07-26). "TV homes outpaces the growth of homes in India, up 7.5%, says survey". Business Standard India. Retrieved 2018-08-05.

External linksEdit