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The BRC to commission a more comprehensive TAMS audit

There have been rapid changes in the recent video viewing landscape exacerbated by the Covid outbreak and the resultant accelerated changes in access to alternate video services and data. In this context, it is more important than ever that the industry remains confident in the TAMS (TV Audience Measurement Survey) panel, the core of South African TV measurement!

The TAMS panel will continue to form the cornerstone of video audience measurement in South Africa as the industry moves forward on the path of including additional screens, platforms and services into Total Video (TV). To this end, the 2021 TAMS audit will be a more comprehensive and expansive audit than in previous years.

“In 2020 we planned an audit encompassing 50 household visits. Unfortunately, the audit was not conducted due to the Covid lockdown,” says BRC’s CEO Gary Whitaker. “This year, the BRC will be validating the panel and implementing 200 coincidental household checks using a remote Covid safe methodology.”

During 2020, TAMS technicians were unable to carry out their normal maintenance activities resulting in The BRC commissioning auditors 3M3A, analyzing the possible effect this would have on the panel and the data. The check was completed in July 2020 by comparing the panel data for two weeks in 2020, from January 13th to 19th and July 6th to 12th.

Overall findings determined that the panel had decreased in size from January to July by 8% from 10 727 to 9 907 with decay happening to all parts of the panel. The panel also saw the mean weight increasing slightly since there are fewer panel members to carry the universe weight. There was no significant increase in the standard deviation and the Panel Efficiency also remained the same. At that point, the panel was still deemed to be a good currency overall for TV advertising in South Africa, however a more in-depth analysis will take place by means of the upcoming audit.

The broad scope of this year’s audit will include amongst others, a technical check – viewing recording and reporting correctly as per the previous audit and ascertaining the general health of the panel. The audit will also include an environmental review; a qualitative review of factors including power supply and information on viewing on other platforms and devices. Whitaker says, “The audit report will have significant input on informing our scope for future measurement including OTT/Streaming, leading into an RFP after the audit. Zero Ratings, which is a global phenomenon brought on by increased fragmentation, continues to challenge all industry players but measurement of OTT/Streaming, amongst other planned interventions, will offer some relief.”

The audit will also include heavy analysis of the changes in the market landscape over recent years, changes to the data output as a result of adjustments to RIMS (Random Iterative Method Weighting) and the universe update to the PAMS universe estimates from the ES (Establishment Survey), more specifically Household and SEM universe estimates.

“The BRC is planning to commission the 2021 TAMS audit by the beginning of April and will run for a period of two months due to the intensive and expansive nature thereof,” concludes Whitaker. “Results of the audit will be publicised shortly thereafter.”

“We have been extremely aware of the impact the pandemic has had on all research, not only here in South Africa, but globally, and by commissioning extra surveys and checks, we will ensure that all of our data is correct, in good health, reflective of the situation and representative of the universe.”

For more information on the BRC visit

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The BRC’s interim radio data available end March

Hot on the heels of last month’s announcement that the BRC (Broadcast Research Council) would be releasing interim radio data, surveyed by Ask Afrika, the marketing and communications industry can expect the first release of data to software bureaus by the end of March 2021.

“We’re extremely excited about the availability of this data, particularly given the previous lack of RAMS data due to Covid-19,” says BRC’s CEO Gary Whitaker. “Since Q1 2020 and our last data release, media consumption and listening habits have fluctuated and changed before settling into new radio, streaming and podcast listening behaviours and various data sources reflect this.”

The interim data will be delivered to third party providers Telmar and Arianna by the 31st March. “Both Telmar and Nielsen have been engaged ahead of the release and both have received the questionnaire, prelim data and data map,” says Whitaker. “This will assist them to start with prep-work for quick uploading of data once the final data is submitted.”

The second interim data release is expected in May 2021. Surveying will take place through a combination of face to face and online interviews which will deliver insights at a Total Radio listenership level. The assessment of the approach was completed in collaboration with, among others, the AMF (The Advertising Media Forum), a collective of media agencies and individuals including media strategists, planners, buyers and consultants.

“We have a plethora of research data coming out soon,” confirms Whitaker. “This includes the second iteration of the interim radio data and the new ‘future-ready’ Radio Audience Measurement Survey (RAMS) with Ipsos as early as the end of Q2 this year. Watch this space, 2021 is going to be a great year for media research!”

For more information on the BRC visit

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