I read an ad in Mint about UTV-Bloomberg claiming that they have grown to no. 2 in the English Business News Space.
Surprised I decided to look closely:
Well in the Male CS 25-44 (all SECs) Segment All India market they had slightly greater channel share (relative) than NDTV Profit and ET NOW according to TAM. For the uninitiated channel share is the product of no of people who watched at least one minute ( reach) and the average time spent by them.
I have three issues with this kind of abuse of TAM numbers :
1. The target for English Business News Channels is much smaller than the one used in the ad. Perhaps CS 25-44 M SEC A and B in 10 lakh plus towns would be more plausible.
2. The use of relative shares is again a misleading measure. In reality the absolute of share of viewing of these channels is minuscule to total television viewing so how many combined minutes of television viewing does this really mean?
3. The third is with the use of TAM for such data.English business news is a very niche segment.
a.) This genre is consumed by respondents who are hard to recruit for high involvement research like TAM.
b). Besides consumption is outside the home ( at public places, offices etc).
c.) The sample sizes for these channels is so low that these fluctuations may be due to sampling errors.
But the saddest part is that our media planners will continue to spend advertising money based on these irrelevant numbers and think they are making scientifically correct decisions.
I hope students of media/ advertising /marketing can learn this before going to the industry.