The Dawn of a Changing Landscape

Media minds meet to discuss the new most precious resource in the Middle East.

Earlier this year, we gathered 75 of the Gulf Co-operation Council's (GCC) leading minds from across the Middle East, and further afield, to discuss the challenges and opportunities for media measurement in the region.

The seminar, hosted by Kantar Media, was held in Dubai and included a stimulating panel discussion with representatives from across the media industry. The overall consensus was that accurate, transparent and accountable systems of measurement will break down some of the barriers and fuel the growth of the television industry in the region, aided by the announcement of a TAM initiative in Saudi Arabia.

In our expanding multi-screen world, the future of TV is being fuelled by developing technology. The ability to understand and follow the changing audience landscape for advertisers, agencies, broadcasters and the wider media research space has never been greater.

Despite this, growth in the Middle East is hampered by a lack of reliable TV audience data as, Morocco and Lebanon aside, the region lacks accurate electronic television audience measurement currencies. Although television is a pan-region media with common programming and advertising content broadcast across the region, individual governments and policies within each market make it challenging to set up a unified currency.

Indeed, the huge expatriate population has led to a very fragmented audience. In addition, the census has not always been updated; there are privacy issues, cultural sensitivities and socio-political changes.

These challenges combined have proved a key barrier to growth. Per-capita ad spend in the Middle East is less than $2 billion; the region's ad spend is the same as Turkey, despite the fact the Middle East has four times the population.

Key to this shift has been the implementation of tview, the first industry-sponsored electronic television measurement service in the UAE. tview, led by the Federal Cabinet, the region's National Media Council and the Telecom Regulatory Authority, is giving broadcasters, advertisers and media agencies greater amounts of data than ever before.

A MEETING OF MEDIA MINDS: A SNAPSHOT OF THE SEMINARS

THE FUTURE OF TAM IN THE MIDDLE EAST:

an advertiser's view of the challenges faced, what the future holds and what the industry needs to do to face up to the challenges.

Key points: Data is the 'new oil', and there needs to be a shift towards effectiveness measurement rather than audience measurement; this will be just the start, as there's a whole new world of measurement out there.

Speaker: David Porter, Media Director, Unilever, North Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus (NAMET RUB)

The First year of Electronic TAM in the UAE:

an overview of the first year of electronic TV measurement in the UAE.

Key points: An elaboration of the developments, with presentations unearthing top line data, as well as summaries of the many benefits and insights that the new electronic TV measurement currency is able to deliver. Chris also emphasised that the regional TV market was dramatically undersized and was hopeful that tview will pave the way for positive growth.

Speaker: Chris O'Hearn, General Manager, EMMC (Emirates Media Measurement Company)

The implications of digital for TAM in the UAE:

the Digital Frontline and its implications for television.

Key points: 2013 was predicted as the year of the mobile phone. Television, however, is still considered to be the medium around which all others will revolve because of its power to expose us to creative works, music, movies and books.

Speakers: Jennie Beck, Global Director, Kantar Media and Keld Nielsen, Global Commercial Director, Kantar Media Audiences



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