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Japanese media measurement firm eyes Thai market

The media industry will soon have to choose a new national TV audience measurement company, with Japan-based Video Research competing to be one of the top choices.

"Not just the data [TV audience ratings], we want to provide the best solution in order to up the value of each client, based on the data or information. We will also provide know-how on using the data for their content marketing and development," Taro Tanaka, managing director of Video Research International (Thailand), said last week.

Video Research has been in the Japanese broadcasting market for more than five decades. In collaboration with 23 Japanese TV stations and three major advertising agencies, the Tokyo-based company conducts TV audience measurement (TAM) for 300 companies that use the data as a standard currency for TV commercial dealings.

"Under our work culture, TV broadcasters, media agencies, advertising firms and advertisers are our shareholders and partners. The information or data from TAM is shared and delivered not only to our shareholders but also to academic and related parties in order to shape the industry into a knowledge society in terms of content development," he said.

In Thailand, TV ratings appear to be for the benefit of the media and ad agencies, rather than content producers and TV stations.

"TV rating does not only mean TVC dealing, but it is also able to translate into an effective way to develop content quality that reflects a real audience's need. This is what we focus on and we want to make it happen in the Kingdom," he said.

Thailand now has a chance to learn from Japan's success in the export of TV programmes. Last year the Japanese TV industry was the world's second-largest at US$56 billion (Bt1.8 trillion) while the export value of Japanese TV programmes was $6 billion.

Convincing local TV stations to change their minds from what they are familiar with was a big challenge, but this change would help the industry improve, he said.

During the rest of this year, Video Research International (Thailand) would meet high-ranking executives of the 24 new digital terrestrial TV stations and media agencies to make them understand what the company can offer and do for the industry.

However, this Bt130-billion media industry was fit only for a single common currency.

Currently, Nielsen (Thailand)'s TV audience rating is being used as a common currency in the media industry.

Early this year, Nielsen said it was ready to rate digital terrestrial TV broadcasts. Its current people meters would be upgraded by innovation that best reflects the evolution of technology. The sample size will be increased to correspond with the increase in television channels. By the end of this year, its sample size will reach 2,000 households or about 7,000 individuals. Next year, it will become 2,200 households or about 7,700 individuals.

All local TV broadcasters, particularly the 24 digital-TV operators, will soon make their decision for their own future in this matter after a licence application for TV audience-rating companies is put in place by the year-end.

The details of the licence application are now being drafted by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, with completion expected by the fourth quarter.


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