Nigeria working towards world class Audience Measurement System- Minister

Nigeria’s Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that the value of Nigeria’s Broadcast Advertising Market is not proportional to the country’s population.

In a comparative analysis, the Minister said Nigeria is far behind when compared to the top 3 Markets in Africa.

The Minister disclosed this at the virtual inauguration of the task team on Audience Measurement in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the Minister despite having a population more than three times that of South Africa, Nigeria’s Television Advertising Revenue in 2016 was US$309 million, compared to that of South Africa, which was US$1,301 billion.

“Audience Measurement is the missing link in the entire ecosystem and it will make our DSO sustainable for Signal Distributors, Channel Owners, TV Content Producers and Advertisers. Without it, we will not see the growth in our television and the value creation in the Creative Industry that the economy and people of Nigeria so need. We need 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.”

“As a consequence, 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.

“ The existing model will never enable Nigeria’s Creative Industry to reach its full potential. It stunts the quality of the content that can be created and also limits the capacity of television platforms to invest in dynamic contents that consumers will be attracted to,” he explained.

bringing Nigerian TV advertisement market to what it should be
The Minister revealed that bringing Nigerian TV advertisement market to what it should be, which is two to three times the current size, could result in additional US$200 to US$400million of revenue to the industry.

Alhaji Mohammed said the absence of a world class measurement regime has resulted in under-investment in the sector.

However, the Minister submitted that the required investment was necessary to foster the growth of the industry.

Advertising Community
The Minister said at the moment, the Advertising community in Nigeria continues to rely on subjective factors when making decisions on the content they want, as opposed to how many viewers the content truly attracts.

He said: “It is imperative that we urgently put in place an Industry Framework that will ensure that content producers receive their just due for the value of the content they create, as well as provide objective guarantees to the Advertising community on their Return-On-Investment on media placements. This will then have the overall effect of guaranteeing greater spend by the Advertisers, who are all seeking to grow their market share.

This Industry Framework can only happen if the Ministry of Information and Culture, which fortunately supervises both the Broadcast and Advertising industries, serves as a catalyst for putting in place a robust Audience Measurement System that is in line with global standards and supports the realisation of the immense potential that the Nigerian Creative Industry holds.

Currently, government is subsidising the signal distribution because the channels cannot pay for the carriage of their stations by the licensed Signal Distributors, who have invested in equipment and
transmission. Things cannot continue like this. Government cannot continue to subsidize television forever; hence we must create a sustainable ecosystem.

The Broadcast Industry needs an Audience Measurement system that will encourage investment, mainly through increased Advertising spend driven by confidence in the Audience Ratings data. An incremental Advertising Revenue will encourage current and prospective channel owners to create additional television channels necessary for the success of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).”

In his remark, the chairman of the committee Bello Kankorofi applauded the government for the brilliant and careful choice of the members and assured that the committee would deliver on the mandate in good time.

Kankorofi said there was such initiative in the past but was not successful due to different interest of stakeholder that couldn’t be harmonised for the general good but said he is optimistic that it will be achieved this term.

The Terms of Reference of the Task Teams are:

– Identify best practice Audience Measurement System that will support the sustainable growth of the Nigeria Creative Industry.

– Recommend a Framework for supporting the sustainability of the Audience Measurement System, independent of the Federal Government.

– Recommend a Payment and Disbursement Framework among the key stakeholders in the industry, that is, the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria (BON), Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN).

The members of the Task Team, which has six week to submit its report, are:

1. Alhaji Garba Bello Kankarofi (Chairman)
2. Mr. Obi Asika
3. Hajia Sa’aa Ibrahim
4. Mr. Mahmoud Ali Balogun
5. Mrs Pauline Ehusani
6. Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya
7  Mr. Joe Mutah (Secretary)

Source: Voice of Nigeria