Nigeria says it is ready to redefine audience measurement in advertising to meet global standards for a robust creative industry as it sets out to combat the likely effects of coronavirus pandemic on the 2020 plans for the industry.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday, inaugurated the committee named "Task Team on Audience Measurement" during a virtual meeting.
According to WARC, a platform dedicated to bringing marketing information to businesses, audience measurement quantifies the number of people in an audience for a piece of content or advertising. It includes the measurement of radio listenership, TV viewing, newspaper and magazine readership and traffic on websites.
Mr Mohammed said the dearth of a world-class audience measurement regime has resulted in under-investment in the sector as the advertising community rely on subjective factors in content production as opposed to how many viewers the content truly attracts.
"Today, television platforms are subjected to renting out space on their channels to sustain their businesses, and content producers are at the mercy of sponsors which, unfortunately, skews the authenticity of their creative output in favor of a few decision makers, instead of the millions of TV viewers," he said.
The minister underscored the need for an objective and scientific Audience Measurement System that articulates the value of the content to consumers, as well as the value of the audience to advertisers, particularly in the television sector.
For the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting to be effective, he said, there has to be a robust audience measurement system to make it sustainable for signal distributors, channel owners, TV content producers and advertisers.
"Ladies and gentlemen, with this Task Team, we are today heralding a new dawn in our Broadcast Industry. The Digital Switch Over (DSO) of our television from Analogue is now well underway, and we are set to announce a new, accelerated agenda, in order to ensure that the DSO becomes a veritable tool to help lift the Creative Industry out of the crippling effect of COVID-19," the minister said.
With swaths of the economy greatly affected, the ravaging pandemic is also upending businesses around the audience-centred creative sector. According to Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the creative industry contributed 0.31 per cent to Nigeria's real GDP in the first quarter of 2020; its growth stood at 2.20 per cent, a 31.16 per cent decrease to the 35.4 per cent in Q1 2019.
Reiterating that the creative industry is the 'new oil,' Mr Mohammed tasked the team to develop a framework that will rejig the country's Audience Measurement System to meet global standards and support the sustainable growth of the industry.
He said the team is independent of the federal government, so it should recommend a Payment and disbursement framework among the key stakeholders in the industry, that is, the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN).
In his remark, the Chairman of the committee, Bello Kankarofi, said the inauguration of the committee is a watershed in the annals of the broadcast and advertising industry in the country.
Mr Kankarofi, said there was a failed attempt in 1995 to set up an audience measurement system for the advertising industry and expressed that the commitment of the minister would drive the effort to succeed this time around.
Other members of the committee include: Obi Asika, Sa'aa Ibrahim, Mahmoud Balogun, Pauline Ehusani, Tolu Ogunkoya and Joe Mutah as Secretary.
The committee has six weeks to submit its report.