Kingdom launches new system for collecting TV, video audience data

Kingdom launches new system for collecting TV, video audience data
Bandar Al-Mashhadi, CEO, Media Rating Co. (supplied)
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Updated 21 December 2021

Kingdom launches new system for collecting TV, video audience data

Kingdom launches new system for collecting TV, video audience data
  • Service developed by MRC, Nielsen will monitor 2,000 households across KSA
  • MRC CEO: ‘Audience behaviors are evolving rapidly as Kingdom continues its remarkable transformation’

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has begun preparations for the launch of a new system for collecting TV and video audience data for use by broadcasters, digital publishers, agencies and advertisers.

The TV and Video Audience Measurement service is being rolled out by the Media Rating Co. in partnership with data and analytics consultancy Nielsen. It has been licensed by the General Commission for Audio Visual and Advertising Industry Board.

The TAM system will employ cutting-edge technology to deliver a precise picture of the size and demographics of TV audiences and reveal how people engage with content.

The data will be collected from an audience of 2,000 households, carefully selected to accurately represent the population.

At an event in Dubai earlier this month, MRC CEO Bandar Al-Mashhadi said: “Audience behaviors are evolving rapidly as the Kingdom continues its remarkable transformation, making it more important than ever to introduce robust TV measurement technology.

“We are proud to partner with Nielsen to gain a deeper understanding of Saudi viewers’ preferences and deliver accurate data that will help to drive effective, highly targeted campaigns.”

Nielsen measures TV audiences in more than 40 markets around the world, more than any other TAM provider.

It has set up a project office in Saudi Arabia and is working closely with the General Authority for Statistics in the Kingdom.

The service will be audited by 3M3A, which handles similar projects in more than 10 countries and is supervised by a technical committee representing key industry stakeholders.

For the first time in the Kingdom, the TAM will include a digital measurement component that captures data from so-called over-the-top streaming services that deliver content via home Wi-Fi networks. This will provide an insight into viewing habits across both linear and digital services.

The operational set-up for the service is underway, with meter installations taking place in households across the Kingdom.

As part of the MRC’s five-year plan, the first set of data — from an initial batch of 1,000 households — will be available by April.

The project is expected to be fully operational by July, with an initial focus on data for streaming services and other digital devices.

Gaming measurement is set to be ready by November, with media data for consumption on various devices by July 2023, radio measurement by January 2024 and print measurement by January 2025.