'People meters' coming to UAE to measure audiences

A TV-audience measuring system moves a step closer following a co-operation agreement.

A long-awaited TV audience-measurement system is to be implemented in the UAE thanks to a co-operation agreement between several local companies and the National Media Council.

The so-called "people meters" system, which will collect TV viewing habit information from a select number of residences, will be used to determine audience preferences across the entire nation.

This information will be used by media agencies to help them allocate advertising spending.

"The National Media Council, Abu Dhabi Media Company [the publisher of The National], Dubai Media Incorporated, Sharjah Media Corporation, Etisalat, du and Kantar Media have entered into an agreement regarding the development and implementation of a Television Audience Measurement (TAM) project across the UAE," said the state news agency WAM.

Emirates Media Measurement Company will be "an independent operating company which will oversee the implementation and deployment of this five-year project", it added.

In June, the management consultancy AT Kearney said the introduction of an accurate audience measurement system of TV audiences across the entire Arab world would prompt a US$2 billion (Dh7.34bn) increase in advertising revenue.