Television, in nearly every country around the world, has become the dominant medium for information, commercial communication and entertainment. This has led to the ever-increasing desire by broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies to have accurate, consistent and detailed information about TV audiences.

TAM (Television Audience Measurement) is the specialised branch of media research, dedicated to quantifying (size) and qualifying (characteristics) this detailed television audience information.

Inevitable need for TAM

Lack of information on consumer behavior does not allow advertisers to be certain of the outcomes of their ad campaigns.  Moreover, it obscures the definition and meaning of healthy competition in the television market. Ideally, TV channels should have competed with each other for the number of viewers to improve the quality of their TV content.  Instead, the channels that actually try to attract mass audience by producing high-quality programs have to concede to those channels that artificially create the image of popularity. This situation entails many negative consequences, primarily affecting the protection of intellectual property and the compliance with journalistic ethics.

Hence, considering the overall market as unfavorable for fair competition, there is a critical need in having objective and comprehensive information on TV audience, and in measuring the outcomes of advertising campaigns. And we, in cooperation with the Kantar Media UK, introduced the Television Audience Measurement service that aims at meeting the demands of the TV market in Mongolia.

Ratings, the “Common Currency”

With the billions of dollars spent annually on TV programs and commercials, reliable TV audience information is required to evaluate and maximize the effectiveness of this investment.

Ratings: the percentage of a given population group consuming a medium at a particular moment.

Generally, when used for broadcast medium, one rating point equals one percent of the given population group. These ratings are qualitative in nature, similar to a voting system; the higher the number of viewers, the ‘better’ the program or commercial.

These ratings, if reliable and valid, become the ‘common currency’ for the market’s commercial airtime. Media planners and buyers evaluate the alternative programs offered to best achieve their advertising goals; broadcasters evaluate the program or station’s popularity and how much to charge an advertiser for commercials during a program or on a given channel. In cases where the channels are funded wholly or partly by public license, ratings also provide accountability.