The global race between Nielsen and Kantar to provide a unified view of content consumption across different screens – addressing an increasingly acute pain point for advertisers and media owners alike – has shifted to one of Asia’s most data-challenged markets, Indonesia.
Yesterday, online measurement company comScore – now partly owned by Kantar, after the two companies announced a global partnership in February – unveiled plans to roll out combined digital ratings in Indonesia, tied to Kantar research on household purchases and consumer attitudes to give marketers a better view of media performance.
The companies hope to have the full service up and running in the second half of next year, before extending it to other markets in Asia.
“We are looking at a comprehensive mobile measurement system that we want to bring into place,” comScore’s VP of Southeast Asia, Kerry Brown, tells Media Business Asia.
“We need to work with the local publishers and the international publishers to get them to tag all their content, whether that’s static or video, and also their ad content, whether that’s static or video,” she adds.
Success hinges on persuading Indonesia’s main online media companies to accept those digital tags, to enable broad enough industry measurement, while bringing advertisers – generally reluctant to pay more for research in Indonesia – on board.
“It’s a question of showing them that this adds value,” says SK Biswas, Indonesia and Thailand CEO, as well as APAC chief strategy officer, for Havas Media Group.
“If it starts, it will get better,” Biswas adds. “We welcome any research that comes in.”
With many big brands spending the majority of ad budgets on TV, the key could lie in Indonesia’s highly competitive, well-funded ecommerce space, almost the only ad category to increase marketing spend in a currently lackluster ad market.
Nonetheless, the launch represents a direct challenge to Nielsen, Indonesia’s incumbent TV ratings provider, which has been holding roadshows on its own digital measurement services to launch in the next few months.
A data poor market
Indonesia’s size and geography pushes up the cost of media research, which is mainly focused on free-to-air TV, making it difficult for other media to increase their share of the pie.
Analysts from Media Partners Asia estimate that TV (including pay-TV and free-to-air) will account for just under 65% of Indonesia’s ~US$2.9 billion ad market (in net spend) this year.
Even Indonesia’s TV measurement is limited to major cities, although information on other media is even more sparse.
Nonetheless, Kantar has been steadily building up its research footprint around household panels recording grocery purchases as well as bespoke projects, heightening local competition with Nielsen.
Globally, collaboration with comScore also helps Kantar better plot the relationship between people’s shopping behavior and media habits, also a major focus for Nielsen which operates media research, consumer panels and retail audits under one roof.
While the advertising impact of individual media is relatively well understood, marketers are especially interested in the combined effect of how different media work together, TV and online in particular.
After announcing their tie-up earlier this year, focused around cross media and campaign measurement, Kantar and comScore started a piloting combined OTT and broadcast measurement in Spain, in prepration for rollout in other markets.
In Indonesia meanwhile, the launch of new mobile services arrives at a time when digital consumption in Southeast Asia’s largest market, while broadly similar to other markets worldwide, is starting to become more distinct, as wider smartphone penetration brings more people online.
While consumers in more affluent markets are more likely to go online via different devices, consumption in Indonesia is increasingly gravitating around smartphones, noted Mark Chamberlain, MD of Millward Brown Indonesia, part of Kantar's research agency network, at a Mobile Marketing Association forum in Jakarta yesterday.
That will further differentiate media plans and marketing strategies in Indonesia and other mobile-first markets, as local digital ecosystems take shape.
The pace of change, however, will largely be driven by how fast prices come down for both handsets and data plans.
“While the rest of the world is moving to a multiplatform consumer, Indonesia is moving to a mobile majority,” Chamberlain said, speaking alongside Brown at a session unveiling the joint comScore/Kantar mobile initiative.
“This isn’t necessarily the reality at the moment…” he added, “but the situation is changing rapidly.”