MUMBAI: Broadcasters, advertisers and agencies have finally agreed the methodology for Indian audience measurement figures, after weeks of talks with TAM Media Research.

The joint venture between AC Nielsen and Kantar Media Research/IMRB, one of two audience measurement firms in India, has agreed with the industry bodies that it will publish television viewership in thousands, known as TVT, Afaqs! reports.

This system captures growth in audiences in absolute numbers and will be the only rating available in the public domain, though percentage figures (%TVR) will remain available for internal evaluation including planning and buying.

Broadcasters will also be given access to this information, and Arvind Sharma, president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India, said: "Getting weekly TVR% is important for media planners and buyers to effectively plan and buy ad-spots."

The TVT will also be provided as a four-week rolling average, which is considered to be a statistically more stable measure of viewership, especially for smaller audiences in regional language channels, English language programmes, niche programming and news.

Meanwhile, the Indian Society of Advertisers welcomed the overall system as "an effective guide and monitor for ratings" in India, while the Indian Broadcasting Federation expressed "delight" at reaching the agreement.

The dispute over measurement came at a crucial time for Indian TV, as major brands such as L'Oréal had been increasingly moving their ad campaigns to digital, reports Livemint.

This trend has been accelerating in part because regulators have reduced ad spots to 12 minutes per hour, but also because advertisers were confused by the lack of audience ratings due to the battle between TAM and the broadcasters.

"Issues between industry stakeholders have clearly accelerated growth for video on digital media platforms... it's no longer TV," said Jai Lala, principal partner at Mindshare, a WPP agency.

Data sourced from Afaqs!, Livemint; additional content by Warc staff