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Tracking reach of government schemes via cable television

Rasheed Kappan, Bengaluru, June 02, 2015, DHNS: 0:17 IST

State engages audience aggregation platform to beam info on welfare projects

Cable television. DH graphics
Are various government schemes reaching their intended beneficiaries? Using local cable TV networks to both spread information on the schemes and to get real-time data on who is watching them, the State has engaged a leading audience aggregation platform.

Here’s the rationale behind using the technology perfected by the platform, SureWaves Spot TV Network: Sixty per cent of the households in Karnataka own a TV set (2011 census). So, why not use the widely spread-out local cable TV to disseminate information? Why not customise content to make it more locally relevant and accessible by using filters based on geography, language, dialect and culture?

This filtering is critical because the audience of these cable TV channels is highly fragmented due to differences in Karnataka’s socio-cultural setup. The platform’s mandate is straightforward: To ensure that the right message reaches the right people in the right format, thus guaranteeing a larger output from the message.

Having introduced the technology in different parts of the State, the government is now monitoring the reach of its communication on various welfare schemes. Real-time broadcast data is now being accessed for schemes such as Anna Bhagya, Ksheera Bhagya, Shaadi Bhagya, Bhagyalakshmi and even Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan.

So, how does the two-way data exchange work? “The State gives us the message / advertisements in, say, five-minute capsules. We digitise it, create a signature for recognition and upload it to the cloud called SureWaves Media Grid with scheduling information. In the local channel’s studio, our media station pulls that content from the grid and schedules it between the channel’s programmes,” SureWaves CMD Rajendra Khare explained to Deccan Herald.

Data related to this localised broadcast of scheduled programmes is beamed back to the cloud through the media station. This way, the government can track the reach of its programmes. “Since the State has learnt the power of this technology, it is looking at formats longer than short capsules. We have also offered to produced content, long format bulletins that are 30 minutes to one hour. It could be talk shows or interviews with local leaders / resource persons,” said Khare.

Once the masses, many of them illiterate, are engaged through the visual ads and messages on TV, they could be activated through mobile phones. The digitised content on the cloud could also be delivered to mobile phones.

Tracking the reach of programmes since the beginning of the year, both the State and SureWaves have now gathered a valuable insight: That if soaps and news are most viewed during prime time on national TV, the cable TV viewership spikes during non-prime time hours.

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