Kenya sees revolution in audience measurement

Kenya is to become the first country in Africa to adopt Personal People Meter (PPM) technology to measure television and radio audiences.

The Steadman Group has signed an agreement with Kantar Media to launch a large scale pilot panel in Kenya. The development is a 'step change' for the Kenyan media industry as it introduces one of the leading audience measurement systems currently only operating in the more mature media markets of the world. PPMs are already deployed by Kantar Media in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Norway, and in the US by Arbitron. All together well over 60,000 PPMs are operating successfully in the field.

Meeting the unique requirements of Kenya

The Steadman Group chose the technology because it believes it is the most appropriate in addressing and meeting the demanding and unique requirements of Kenya. The new technology will be piloted first among different segments of the audience in Nairobi before trials among more rurally located audiences. This rural audience is crucial because some 65% people in Kenya live beyond cities. Radio is heavily listened to as TV is often not available.

Nairobi pilot to test different demographics

Already, 40 stations (both TV and Radio) in Nairobi have had their signals encoded in readiness for the pilot. The pilot panel will be using a rolling sample that will run for the next five months. This will entail placing PPMs with a limited number of respondents within the same demographic profile every month. 50 respondents in Nairobi will carry the PPM for a period of one month before there is a change to another demographic profile. The main objectives of this pilot are to test the behavioural aspect of carrying the PPMs and to confirm that the PPMs are picking up the encoded signals. Further, the pilot will help fully understand the nature of the data that can be expected upon full deployment.

The industry is full of expectations and looking forward to the move away from paper diaries - a system which has been in place for over 10 years. The industry will also have to get used to, and learn the benefits of, minute-by-minute data for full campaign planning and analysis.

These test audience data for TV and radio should allow the Kenyan broadcast industry to move to a full commercial TAM and RAM Service.

It is anticipated that this new service will 'go live' next year.

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