The National Media Council (NMC) and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) will be implementing a TV audience measurement project to measure the size of the TV audience in the UAE.
A company will be licenced to undertake and manage the project, with the NMC and the TRA playing a regulatory role to ensure fairness and transparency.
The project will offer a wide range of benefits such as providing, for the first time, accurate and reliable data to TV channels and advertisers to evaluate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. It also is expected to result in an increase in TV ad spend in the UAE and will ensure a fair share for all channels.
The government sector will benefit from the information since it will be enabled to undertake important campaigns and to disseminate messages to the public more effectively. It will also obtain access to accurate information and statistics about this sector and its growth.
In the past few years there has been dramatic growth in the media industry in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region. In 2007, total measured expenditure on advertisements in the region reached about $8 billion (Dh29.38bn), a 20 per cent increase over the 2006 figure. TV has been the leading segment, taking 43 per cent of overall advertising spend throughout the region. There are now more than 400 television channels in Mena. The increase in the number of channels means that advertisers have a particular need to obtain access to credible TV audience data and accurate details of the current financial situation.
The NMC and TRA recognise the importance of implementing accurate measurement systems as a contribution to further increasing the growth in the media industry in a healthy and sustainable manner. The NMC and TRA have been monitoring various efforts to introduce and implement credible TV audience measurement in order to allow advertisers to get access to accurate data to prepare their media planning and to understand better the value of their space and what the viewers want to watch.
The NMC and TRA are now seeking to chart a course toward the establishment of an accurate, credible and sustainable people meter system in the UAE so as to build a transparent and regulated market for the broadcasting segment where all stakeholders can optimise their returns.
The UAE TV sector has been invited to submit proposals on how it may participate in this project.