Television viewership ratings data publisher TAM Media Research has launched a mobile app called TAM India, reports IndianTelevision.

This app will apparently allow TAM subscribers to access TAM data on their phone at almost the same time as the regular release of TAM data to the industry. It is currently available as a free download on iOS, Android and BlackBerry .

The app will provide snapshot insights regarding different TV channel genres, markets, programmes and new promotables on a weekly basis. Along with data for the latest week, the app will also provide data for the four preceding weeks.

TAM Media Research CEO L.V. Krishnan told the publication that this app will enable their clients easy access to current TV viewership data and enable them to make quicker decisions.

Data on the app

Channel genres: Genre-wise viewership data + five week trends for select genres

Markets: Market-wise viewership data + five week trends for select markets

Programmes: List of programme launches for the current week across channels

New promotable: List of new programme promotions for the current week across channels

App details

-The Android app is sized at 8.8 MB, and Play Store reflects that 50-100 downloads have already been made.

-The iOS app is sized at 3.2 MB and requires iOS 6.0 or later. App Store also mentions that the app has been optimised for iPhone 5.

-The Blackberry app is sized at 1.03 MB, and Blackberry App World lets users download the app using a QR barcode scanner.

TRAI TV rating agencies policy guidelines

TAM Media Research is currently awaiting the verdict of the suit filed by its parent body Kantar Market Research against the government-declared regulation on cross holding patterns of TV ratings agencies. TAM had to comply with the policy guidelines stipulated by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and communicated by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. After Kantar managed to obtain a stay order, the court provided TAM two weeks beyond the 15th February 2014 deadline to register as a television ratings service provider with MIB. TAM had to generate and publish ratings in accordance with the guidelines within 6 months or its registration would stand cancelled.

The bone of contention was the cross holding patterns directive. This directive stated that no single company or legal entity, either directly or through its associates or inter-connected undertakings, shall have 10% or more equity holding in rating agencies and broadcasters / advertisers / advertising agencies, or in more than one rating agency operating in the same area. This is applicable to both individual promoters of companies, as well as legal entities.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also laid down concrete guidelines for methodology of audience measurement. TRAI recommended that panel homes used to collect TV viewership data should be increased to 20,000 from the then existing 9,602. In addition, every year the number of panel homes should be increased by 10,000 till the total number of panel homes reaches 50,000. TRAI also recommended that 25% panel homes should be rotated every year, starting with the oldest panel homes.

The guidelines also directed TV ratings agencies to publish their rate cards in public domain and forbade them from withholding any data generated. TRAI also recommended that TV ratings agencies had to establish a complaint redressal mechanism.

TAM has been under pressure for the past few months as the entire TV industry was focused on the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which has received government support. The cross holding patterns guidelines doesn’t apply to BARC as the industry-led body follows a self-regulation model and provides the ratings itself.

In 2012 TAM had faced severe criticism for lack of accuracy and manipulation of data, and even had to contend with a $1.3 billion lawsuit from NDTV.

Download: TAM India mobile app FAQs