DUBAI: Television advertising revenues could rise dramatically in the Middle East in the next five years if more accurate audience data is made available to brand owners, a new study has argued.

According to AT Kearney, the consultancy, average per capita TV adspend stands at just $7 (€6; £5) in Arab nations at present, compared with totals of $71 in Germany, $113 in the UK and $229 in the US.

However, the company suggested the introduction of more complex tracking systems capable of determining viewing levels in this area would serve to drive up expenditure by $2bn by 2015.

"Robust audience measurement is important for the media sector as a whole," Dr Martin Fabel, a media consultant at AT Kearney Middle East, said.

"It will not only help advertisers and channels optimise value but also attract investment from non-regional companies by improving transparency and reducing risks."

"There are other factors, but in our view the lack of audience measurement is the key growth blocker."

Efforts to redress this problem are currently being implemented in the United Arab Emirates, where the TV Audience Measurement Project was recently unveiled.

Mazen Hayek, group director of public relations at MBC Group, the media company, said the kind of in-depth information this will yield remained very much the exception rather than the rule.

"In the Arab world, audience measurement is done only in Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey. Assuming you can have audience measurement in 22 Arab countries at the push of a button is a dream come true," he asserted.

"Having said that, audience measurement is extremely important to the industry, to be able to assess audiences and the migration of audiences."

Data sourced from The National; additional content by Warc staff