Media and Advertising

Nielsen to monitor rural Chinese TV habits

P&G and Coke want to know: What are they watching?
- image from Hubble Bubble
Mure Dickie of the Financial Times is the journalist to watch for stories about media business in China. He always seems to be quickest to respond to interesting industry news, such as Baidu's recent launch of a lame, for profit, censored version of Wikipedia (see Imagethief - Baidupedia, or, if you have an FT subscription, Chinese web search group launches encyclopedia).

Today's FT has a story by Dickie about Nielsen:

Nielsen widens Chinese ratings to rural viewers

AGB Nielsen Media Research has begun a US$35m effort to include rural viewers from China's most populous regions in its ratings for the country's television market...

...AGB Nielsen's ratings would cover about 900m Chinese from 15 provinces and regions by the end of 2007, giving advertisers new information on viewer habits in rural areas, according to Alberto Colussi, managing director of AGB Nielsen's corporate support centre.

The expansion of ratings beyond the urban areas of nearly 100 Chinese cities covered by AGB Nielsen would also help it compete against local ratings market leader CSM Media Research, Mr Colussi told the Financial Times...

..."I talk to the big companies, the big advertisers; Proctor, Nestle, Coca-Cola and others ... they want to go out beyond the borders of the cities and enter into the provinces, and they need this," Mr Colussi said.

TV ratings companies have previously focused on viewers in large urban centres as they have the greatest buying power, but Mr Colussi said it made no sense to exclude rural residents, who were easily able to afford products such as detergents or soft drinks...

...Mr Colussi said doing so had yielded a clearer picture of the limited audiences enjoyed by city television stations and of the strength of provincial broadcasters such as Hunan TV, which last year scored a national hit with "Supergirl", a music talent show...

...The installation of equipment to monitor TV set use in 17,000 sample households by the end of 2007 will also make clear the wide reach of China Central Television, the country's dominant broadcaster.

However, Mr Colussi said CCTV – which holds a large stake in rival CSM – had shown little interest in AGB Nielsen's data.

How surprising that CCTV is not interested in new viewership data.

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