Audience measurement organisations
Mediascope (formerly TNS Russia) is the largest organisation in charge of television audience measurement. It was established in 1994 and owned by the British WPP. Although it was a dominant leader of the segment, major broadcasters, especially the Pervyi channel, were not satisfied with the results claiming that TNS ratings were not reliable. In fact, the latter has even established its own Measurement service for the First Channel audience (STI) in 2002.
In 2016 after the adoption of amendments to the laws ‘On Advertising’ and ‘On Mass Media’ that require audience measurement companies to license their operations, and to limit foreign ownership in media companies by 20 percent, the state-owned All-Russian Center for Public Opinion Research (VCIOM) and its affiliate VCIOM-Media bought an 80 percent share in TNS Russia from WPP. The company MediaScope currently provides the most extensive audience research data, using Peoplemeters. Data coming from MediaScope are used in advertising sales on major Russian broadcast, print and online media.
Other sociological companies to survey public opinion in Russian media are Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) founded in 1992 and covering more than 80 regions in Russia (where 98 percent of whole country population reside) and Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), currently the major owner of MediaScope. The National Circulation Service agency is an independent non-profit organisation to control the circulation and distribution of periodicals.