Huge Change for Georgian Telecommunications Industry

After exactly a decade of having only one TAM (Television Audience Measurement) provider (TVMR GE), 2016 will see a defining moment for the local telecommunications industry, as another international ratings provider, Kantar Media is gearing up to make its debut at the Georgian market.

Georgia Today was allowed an exclusive interview with Tsotne Mirtskhulava, the Managing Director of Tri Media Intelligence (TMI) – the company representing Kantar Media in the country.

First, please tell our readers a little about Kantar Media.

Kantar Media is an international company with headquarters in London, UK. The company has over 40 years’ experience and is represented in more than 50 countries worldwide, serving more than 22,000 customers, ranging from media companies to advertising agencies. Kantar Media is considered a designated leader in news monitoring, media evaluation and ad intelligence.

When did you reach the final agreement with Kantar Media and when will it enter the Georgian market?

The contract between Kantar Media and Tri Media Intelligence was signed about a year ago. TMI now serves as the official representative of Kantar Media, which provides us with all the necessary equipment, data checks and analysis, guidelines, trainings and 24-hour assistance, thus being fully involved in the development process.

TMI powered by Kantar Media will officially enter the Georgian market on January 1, 2016 and, starting from January 4, will provide its clients with up-to-date data.

Please tell us a little about the preparation works.

We conducted a very large-scale Establishment Survey, interviewing 6,600 households from the seven major cities of Georgia, those having a population of more than 45,000: Tbilisi, Batumi, Poti, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Rustavi and Gori. Survey instruments were designed by KM and pilot tested by GORBI (the Georgian survey firm), later data was collected using computer assisted interviewing methodology and the fieldwork was controlled using GPS devices. The survey data allowed us to have universe estimates to which the results of the meter panel are projected. This data has also provided a sample of households of known characteristics from which the panel was recruited.

What would you say are your main advantages? What novelties will your bring to the local industry?

We will provide accurate ratings data for our customers, consisting mainly of media companies and advertisement agencies. These organizations will be able to access the information using a special computer program – InfoSys+, which is super user-friendly and multifunctional. During our initial presentations with the clients, nearly all of the attendees expressed their happiness over the application’s versatility and ease of use. InfoSys+ will cut in half the time and effort currently needed for ratings due diligence.

The aforementioned program provides users with incomparably in-depth data analysis. For example, InfoSys+ measures more than 120 metrics and displays the results in 60 settings, using any desirable format: graphics, figures, charts, etc.

Our ratings measurement devices – People Meters, are the most advanced and modern devices Kantar Media has to offer today, therefore we will have even better equipment than most of the European countries. Furthermore, both the user interface and remote control annotations will be completely in Georgian and a special signal system installed on the devices will ensure highest usage rates possible.

Moreover, the number of TV channel ratings which we measure is twice as much as the current number. We currently provide ratings statistics for 23 channels and a further 24 will join in January, meaning that we will publish figures for numerous small and regional channels whose performance has never been measured before.

Kantar Media is the first local TAM provider which is able to measure ratings for each region separately, giving advertising companies the opportunity to better monitor regional events/commercials, and enabling the TV channels with limited coverage areas to monitor their performance.

Another of our innovational features is the Guest Tool. Our clients will be able to provide the exact number of people watching the show, which enables us to avoid any statistical mishaps.

Lastly, we will be the first company in Georgia and one of the first in the world to measure shifted viewing. Nowadays, several providers in the country offer their customers the function of rewinding, so that they can watch a show that already aired, and Kantar Media will calculate those ratings as well.

Based on the higher number of TV channels measured, do you expect a significant change on the local telecommunications market?

I wouldn’t say that we can call it a change on the market, as those additional TV channels that we’ll measure currently exist, it is merely that their ratings are not calculated. Nonetheless, it can be predicted that we’ll see a new picture, which will not be a shift in the industry, but an accurate depiction of the existing situation.

Will the ratings data be accessible for the general public?

The entire package of data in InfoSys+ will only be provided to our customers, as it is the main product that TMI sells on the market. However, we will periodically publish parts of the ratings analysis on our website (which is currently under construction and will go live early next year) for the general public to see.

Will you only measure those channels who are your contractors?

Although almost every TV channel in Georgia has expressed their readiness to become our customers, if some of them decide not to use our product, we will still measure their ratings, in order to provide a broader and more accurate picture for our clients. Our goal is to take the local telecommunications market to a whole new level. I’d say that Kantar Media will be the light that the industry, which has been in the dark for a very long time, desperately needs.

Tri Media Intelligence, alongside the official representatives of Kantar Media in London, is set to host a special presentation in Karvasla on December 16, 2015. Georgia Today will keep you updated with complete coverage of the event.

Beqa Kirtava

07 December 2015 17:32