Audience measurement organisations

Perhaps the most prominent audience measurement organisations in the Philippines are the marketing research firms that the television networks often cite when reporting their ratings. For television networks, the most oft-cited audience measurement firms are Kantar Media and AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines. Kantar Media, a multinational research group present in more than 80 countries, also provides custom audience research for radio and digital media.

As of 2013, AGB Nielsen uses a panel size of 1,980 households based in urban areas, which represent about 60 percent of the total television-viewing population (Dumlao, 2013). Kantar Media, on the other hand, uses a nationwide panel size of 3,500 urban and rural homes, reportedly representing 100 percent of the total viewing population (Makabenta, 2017).

The two broadcast giants, ABS-CBN and GMA, each claim ratings lead whenever these audience measurement firms release their findings. However, in 2007, ABS-CBN filed a civil case against AGB Nielsen over alleged tampering of ratings in one area. Through its AM station DZMM, ABS-CBN reported that according to AGB Nielsen, GMA was behind the fixing of data, to which GMA responded with a PhP 15-million (more or less US$780 million) libel case (Makabenta, 2017). In 2008, the court junked ABS-CBN’s case.

Audience measurement for digital media is largely conducted by international companies or organisations. Nielsen, the parent company of AGB Nielsen, launched its Digital Ad Ratings service in the Philippines in 2015. Another example would be Comscore, Inc. or NASDAQ-SCOR, which introduced Mobile Metrix® in the country in 2016 ‘for the reporting of mobile web and app audiences on smartphones and tablets’ (Comscore, Inc., 2016). In 2017, the Philippine Digital Measurement Board, comprised of representatives from advertising, research, and global platforms like Google, launched the Digital Measurement Standard (DMS), a unified, ‘industry-wide measurement standard that puts clarity and direction on how to evaluate digital marketing and advertising performance’ (Llamas, 2017). The DMS, which is the first of its kind in the country, aims to cover a broad range of digital experiences and platforms.

In the case of print media, there are still no institutions or research firms that authenticate the circulation rates of newspapers and magazines.