MUMBAI: As ratings provider BARC India publishes separate viewing data for India's urban and rural TV markets for the first time, broadcasters are now expected move towards a two-tier ad sales market.

Raj Nayak, CEO at Colors, the entertainment channel, told Afaqs! that the broadcaster was considering selling urban and rural TV audiences separately. "This will help both the advertiser and the broadcaster who can now target the urban and rural viewer separately," he said.

"Depending on the specific audiences that the advertiser wants to target, broadcasters will now be able to clearly differentiate, and hence, get the right value from the advertiser," he continued.

Nayak anticipated this process would start with general entertainment channels such as his own, not least since these include the major free-to-air channels which are most popular in rural areas.

"However, going forward, movies, regional, would be important genres for the data to be clearly segregated," he added, "especially with multiple launches in these genres in the FTA space catering to the rural eyeballs."

Brand marketers welcomed BARC's shift. "Now we have more options, so it helps us design our media plan better," said Pravin Kulkarni, general manager at Parle Products. "Targeting also becomes finer and wastage can be avoided because of this data."

A side effect of that, however, is an increase in ad rates. Kulkarni noted that Sony Pal and Zee Anmol had already gone down this route – "and now the other broadcasters in the Top 10 will do the same".

BARC India pointed out that subscribers have always had the option to look at separate rural and urban data; "separate rankings for urban and rural viewership of the top Hindi general entertainment channels/programmes were only reported in the data that BARC India puts out for the public at large," it said.

Data sourced from Afaqs!; additional content by Warc staff