* Says FG to establish Audience Measurement System.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stated that despite the $309 million raked in by media houses from television adverts as well as $81million from radio adverts in 2016, Nigeria’s revenue from the sector is still 75% and 76% behind those of South Africa and Kenya.
Mohammed disclosed this on Monday in Enugu during the Digital Switch Over (DSO) of Enugu State from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting.
The Minister added that the inability of the Nigerian Broadcast Industry to attract the requisite revenue despite her huge population was as a result of lack of standards. He said that media content has lost its objectivism and has been commercialised to satisfy the pecuniary needs of the chief executives.
According to Mohammed, the federal government is now resolved to reverse the trend through the establishment of Audience Measurement System which will ensure that news content conforms to standards.
He said, “Despite having a population more than that of South Africa, Nigeria’s Television Advertising Revenue in 2016 at $309million was 76% behind that of South Africa.
“Similarly, in the Radio sector, the value of Nigeria’s 2016 Advertising Revenue of $81million was 75% behind its peers, South Africa and Kenya, both at $343million.
“In both territories, the value and growth rate of the Broadcasting Advertising Revenue is largely influenced by the availability of a scientific Audience Measurement System that provides confidence to Advertisers in measuring their Return-On-Investment.”
Throwing more light on the implications of the Audience Measurement System, the minister continued, “Simply put, we need 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.”
He pointed out that lack of an Audience Measurement System has resulted in under-investment in the sector, “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.
“This factor also contributes to the less than optimal investment by all key stakeholders in the Television broadcasting value-chain, that is; the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) members, the Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN) and the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN).
“Of course, there is also the problem of delayed payments for media placements across the value-chain.
“As a consequence, television platforms are subjected to renting out space on their channels to sustain their business, and Content Producers have become increasingly over-reliant on Sponsorships, which unfortunately skews the authenticity of their creative output in favor of a few decision makers, rather than the millions of TV viewers” Mohammed explained.
According to the Minister, the existing model will never enable Nigeria’s Creative and Entertainment Industry to reach its full potential as it stunts quality of the content and also limits the capacity of television platforms to invest in dynamic offerings that consumers will be attracted to.
“As it is now, the value of Nigeria’s Broadcasting Advertising Market is not proportionate with its population when compared to the top three markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa region” Mohammed added.
He said that the ministry of information and culture is determined to grow the broadcast industry.
He said, ‘We are therefore ready to serve as the catalyst for putting in place a robust Audience Measurement System that is in line with global standards and supports the realization of the immense potential that the Nigerian Creative and Entertainment industry holds.
“The Ministry has therefore decided to establish a Task Team of industry experts, with best practices related to Audience Measurement Systems, starting with the television sector in three ways.
“Identify best practice Audience Measurement System that will support the sustainable growth of the Nigeria Creative and Entertainment Industry.
“Recommend a Framework for supporting the sustainability of the Audience Measurement System, independent of the Federal Government.
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“Recommend a Payment and Disbursement Framework among the key
Stakeholders in the industry, that is; BON, MIPAN and ADVAN.
“Bringing Nigerian TV advertisement market in line with global best practices could bring an additional $200-400 million of revenue to the industry, based on current comparisons with other African countries”, he added.
In his address at the occasion, the Director General of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mr Moddibo Kawu, said that the commission has built on the experiences it gathered from the earlier States where DSO took place especially in harmonising the activities of all stakeholders.
He sad, “We commenced the pilot phase of the DSO in Jos, Plateau State in 2016; in that initial pilot phase, we experimented with a multiplex of 15 broadcast channels, which were well-received by the people in Jos.
“That phase of the DSO taught us vital lessons, about working with several stakeholders in the delivery of the new process.
“These are DIGITEAM Nigeria; the Signal Distributors; Content Providers; the Set Box Manufacturers; the Content Aggregator; Call Center Operator and the Middleware provider.
“And as we deepen its processes, there are valuable add-ons such as Video-on-Demand (VoD); internet facilities; interactivity; Electronic Program Guide, including the vital process of audience measurement that will spike advertisement spend in the broadcasting industry and others, that our viewers will become used to.
“The Broadcasting value chain will be enhanced, not only in terms of viewing experience but also, and very crucially, as a platform of enhancement of creativity and the opening up of the vistas of new jobs for the Nigerian economy”.
Present at the event were Enugu State Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values, Hon Olusegun Odebunmi and other dignitaries.