BARC India seeks paradigm shift in audience measurement technology

Seeking a paradigm shift in broadcast audience data measurement technology, the Broadcast Research Council of India (BARC) has collaborated with the Indian…

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Seeking a paradigm shift in broadcast audience data measurement technology, the Broadcast Research Council of India (BARC) has collaborated with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) for innovative solutions in data collection going beyond meters and smartphones.

In a bid to seek next gen technology solutions to better meet the needs of TV audience measurement in India, BARC India has partnered with IIT. The partnership is also in line with BARC India’s philosophy of providing robust TV viewership measurement to the country of 197 million TV homes, BARC India has confirmed in a Press release.

As part of the partnership, IITians across the country were asked to suggest newer ways of measuring TV viewership habits of 836 million TV owning individuals. The solutions BARC India was seeking included newer methods for channel, content and ad identification as well as alternative to button pushing and current visible meter used for capturing viewership data from panel homes.

Ten IITs from across the country participated in the competition and presented their solutions to a jury.

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After a rigorous evaluation process, IIT Kharagpur’s TYSS Santosh won the Gold prize and a summer internship with BARC India for coming up with the best solution. The proposed solution can potentially transform large conspicuous hardware in panel homes to user-friendly smart assistants, and also reduce dependency on 3rd parties for channel identification. IIT Kanpur bagged the Silver and IIT Bombay was the second runner-up to win the Bronze.

All solutions presented by the students are platform agnostic and will be further tested for their feasibility. If proven, the solution would be adopted into the system to enhance the measurement service.

Emphasizing on this collaborative approach with the sharpest minds in India for next gen technology solutions, BARC India COO Romil Ramgarhia said, “Indian TV industry is dynamic and its needs are ever-evolving. India faces several unique issues such as power cuts, data connectivity challenges, wide disparity in temperature and climatic conditions etc., all of which impact collection of data. It thus is important for us to keep innovating and thinking ahead.”

“We are delighted to see the young and bright minds from the most premier technology institute of India coming up with some extra-ordinary solutions. Through this partnership, we also want to encourage students to take technology from research labs to end users, impacting a million lives,” added Ramgarhia.

Sharing his experience on winning the coveted Gold prize, Santosh, a final year student at the IIT Kharagpur, said “we are happy to be the Gold winners in the battle between all IITs in this tough competition. BARC India’s challenging case study demanded working on inter-disciplinary components of tech that is hardware, software, machine learning and artificial intelligence to propose a new solution to the existing state of the art technology available with BARC India.”

“We are obliged to BARC India for offering us summer internships and look forward to be a part of this Great Place to Work and technologically-driven company – BARC India. We are looking forward to work on our proposed technology in a cross functional setup of teams,” concluded Santosh.

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