Another noticeable trend was the number of speakers who cited the help and assistance they had received from BARB in the UK. We tend to blithely say that BARB 'sets the standard' in TV measurement but this event certainly reinforced this as speakers queued up to pay tribute.
Indeed, I was reminded of the numerous fact-finding trips made to Washington DC in the early 90s by new East European democracies looking to establish a constitution and learning about the American model. However, given the recent deadlock in the American body politic, let's hope they eventually opted for something else. It is reassuring - from a UK perspective - to witness at first-hand the esteem in which our UK system is still held, even if the speed of progress may not be as fast as some critics would like. Many other topics were discussed.
For example it was claimed that in India buying a second TV for the home was as much of a family revolution as announcing that a second kitchen was being installed - the family that watches together stays together.
China too is having the debate about the relationship between social media and TV viewing, whilst there are a number of highly advanced Return Path Data systems in the region, including Astro in Malaysia , partly driven by frustration at small sample sizes for systems that have been developed to measure terrestrial TV.
However, my final theme is a more 'existential one': highlighted in this region, but of global relevance. At asi APAC there seemed to be universal approval of the joint industry approach to measurement, although not what to call that system. However, there was far less accord on what those systems should actually be measuring. This article has used the term 'television' throughout, but there were strong arguments made from the stage that this term is too narrow - that we now live in the video measurement era - from TAM to VAM as one chart put it.
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I have argued in the past that there is some fundamental difference between quality 'television' and wider online video, but then I am over 50 and that differentiation was increasingly irrelevant according to many speakers. A number of countries in the region have populations with average ages of less than 30, so what broadcasters used to do in the past is of historic interest only, it's what they do now that matters and the new competitive set does include Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Apple, whether broadcasters like it or not. So the question now is, should these companies be encouraged into the JIC system and how much longer can measurement be limited to a self-defined perimeter of what is - and isn't TV?
As MMS from Sweden have argued, it may be better to have the new entrants in the video market inside the tent I won't use the full metaphor than to give the false impression of measuring a declining medium, constrained only by its self-imposed definition. I left the asi APAC event with a definite impression that whilst in the past researchers in the region may have looked to the West to guide development of measurement systems, the rapid pace of change in the region and the adoption of mobile in particular may make the exchange of information more balanced in the future, particularly when it comes to a more open appraisal of what is - and isn't - television.
Certainly the plan for asi is to ensure that the two annual events - in Europe and now in the APAC region - shape and inform each other. This November sees asi celebrate its 25th anniversary in Venice , swapping vertiginous skyscrapers for campaniles and canals. If you'd like to give us your view from the stage then do get in touch.
Richard Marks is managing director of Research the Media and research director of asi. Thank you for your comment - a copy has now been sent to the Mediatel Newsline team who will review it shortly. Please note that the editor may edit your comment before publication. Data from Mediatel Connected Find out more about the UK's most comprehensive aggregator of media data.
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