The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Tuesday inaugurated the Task Team on Audience Measurement, charging it to develop an industry framework that will serve as a catalyst for putting in place a robust Audience Measurement System, AMS, that meets global standards and supports the realization of the immense potential of the Nigerian Creative Industry.

A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the President, Media, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture, Segun Adeyemi, quoted the minister, who inaugurated the committee virtually in Abuja, saying that the absence of a world class measurement regime has resulted in under-investment in the sector, which is necessary to foster the growth of the industry, as the advertising community continues to rely on subjective factors when making decisions on the content they want, as opposed to how many viewers the content truly attracts.

Alhaji Mohammed said, “Today, television platforms are subjected to renting out space on their channels to sustain their businesses, and content producers are at the mercy of sponsors which, unfortunately, skews the authenticity of their creative output in favor of a few decision makers, instead of the millions of TV viewers.”

Stressing the need for an objective and scientific Audience Measurement System that articulates the value of the content to consumers, as well as the value of the audience to advertisers, particularly in the television sector, the minister said that for the Digital Switch Over, DSO, in broadcasting to be effective, there has to be a robust Audience Measurement System to make it sustainable for Signal Distributors, Channel Owners, TV Content Producers and Advertisers.

He added, “Ladies and gentlemen, with this Task Team, we are today heralding a new dawn in our broadcast industry. The DSO of our television from analogue is now well underway, and we are set to announce a new, accelerated agenda, in order to ensure that the DSO becomes a veritable tool to help lift the creative industry out of the crippling effect of COVID-19.”

Alhaji Mohammed further charged the committee to identify best practice Audience Measurement System that will support the sustainable growth of the Nigeria creative industry; recommend a framework for supporting the sustainability of the Audience Measurement System, independent of the Federal Government; and recommend a payment and disbursement framework among the key stakeholders in the industry, that is, the Broadcasting Organizations of Nigeria, BON; Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria, MIPAN and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN.

In his response, the committee chairman, Alhaji Bello Kankarofi, said the inauguration of the committee is a watershed in the annals of the broadcast and advertising industry in the country.

Alhaji Kankarofi, who said there was a failed attempt in 1995 to set up an Audience Measurement System for the advertising industry, expressed the belief that the overwhelming commitment of the minister will drive the effort to success this time around.

Other members of the Committee, which had six weeks to submit its report are: Mr. Obi Asika; Hajia Sa’aa Ibrahim; Mr. Mahmoud Ali Balogun; Mrs Pauline Ehusani; Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya and Mr. Joe Mutah as Secretary.

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