The TAMS® universe is made up of all households, both rural and urban, with mains electricity and at least one working TV set. TAMS® measures all platforms both analogue and digital and both terrestrial and satellite. Personal viewing data is captured by the TAMS® meter for all household members aged four and older, and includes all guests in the home. Domestic workers are also included in the TAMS® universe but are treated as separate households.
Like all TAMS panels worldwide, SAARF TAMS® uses an establishment survey to estimate the size of the television universe, which will set the parameters of the sample. In South Africa TAMS® uses the All Media and Products Survey (AMPS®) for this purpose and the TAMS® universe is therefore adjusted every six months with each new AMPS® release (normally in about January and August each year).
An establishment survey is the only way to correctly reflect the relative sizes of all the different TV platforms at a given moment in time and to measure TV accurately; SAARF also needs to know amongst other things, how many TVs, and M-Net and DStv decoders, etcetera. people have. This information is sourced from AMPS®.
While people are continuously buying new TV equipment, it is sufficient to update the TAMS® universe only once every six months after new AMPS® data is released as stated above. These updates routinely take place.
Updating the universe regularly ensures that the TAMS® data remains up-to-date with changes happening in the TV arena, changes which are brought about by the constant addition of new households to the TV-viewing population, new pay-TV providers and the inexorable move to Pay TV.
On the 19 December 2011, the TAMS® household universe was updated to include PVR households. Thus Time Shifted viewing data was also released for the first time in December 2011.
The current TAMS® universe update reflects the new population updates by IHS Global Insight. The IHS demographic model differs from the previous demographic supplier SAARF used in a number of technical areas.
Due to these methodological differences between the current and previous demographers, the resultant population updates are different to the previous population estimates for a number of demographics. In the TAMS® 15+ universe, there has been significant population increases in metropolitan areas as well as a significant decrease in the rural population. A few provinces namely Northern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Gauteng have increased, while some provinces saw decreases, including the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Limpopo and most notable North West. Although not significant, LSM 6 increased by 6.9% to 7 518 738, up from 7 031 159. LSM 10 (with a decrease of 3.8%, down from 2 187 894 to 2 105 104), LSM 9 (with an increase of 4.1%, from 3 007 468 up to 3 129 350), LSM 8 (with an increase of 3.8%, from 2 784 117 up to 2 889 648) also saw noticeable changes although they were not statistically significant.
The 2011B TAMS® universe has increased from 11 196 628 to 11 856 888 households (with PVR homes included). This is an increase of 5.9% and quite a bit ahead of the population change of 2.8% (adults 15+ up from 29 209 654 to 30 039 437). Pay TV has also seen significant increases in the 15+ population figures, up from 9 292 804 to 10 098 224, representing a gain of 8.7%.
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