What is happening with AMPS?

The future of AMPS and other industry developments

AMPS has been a key data set providing marketers from across various industries with critical insights on South African consumers for the past decade. Its breadth of coverage, credibility and stability is unparralled. It is therefore tragic to watch its imminent demise. There has been much uncertainty as to what will replace AMPS, and how this will be funded. However, a plan has begun to emerge and it appears that this plan has been gaining traction.

Here is an accurate account of everything we know about the future of AMPS

  1. The last release of AMPS as we knew it, managed by SAARF, was in April 2016. There will be no updates to that dataset.
  2. The Establishment Survey released in March 2017, is full of great insights but is not meant to replace AMPS. It is a ~100 question survey on media consumption (not channel or title) with about 25 demographic questions. There is no brand, financial, cell phone, psychographic or personal activity data in it. When it is released it will be available on Eighty20’s Data Portal (previously known as XtracT).
  3. SAARF is closing down and re-constituting as the MRF (Marketers Research Foundation).
    FinScope, FutureFact, Roots, TGI, Brand Atlas, Brand Mapp or any other survey are all done off a different sample frame and with a different methodology so, therefore, they cannot ‘replace’ AMPS, any more than your own tracking study could.
  4. Three bodies (The Marketing Association of SA, the Advertising Media Forum, and Association for Communication and Advertising) in conjunction with the MRF gave presentations to stakeholders in March on the proposed path forward for a new Marketing Research Currency to replace AMPS. The full presentation can be downloaded here.

So what is the path forward?

In a nutshell, by April, the bodies tasked with finding a replacement for AMPS need to get commitment from ~60 large corporates to pay for the new research by way of contributions based on subscribers’ annual advertising spend. The required budget needed is R35m for Phase 1 which will create a ‘Hub’ Survey to replace AMPS as we know it. Further phases will require a budget of R55m which will create other products such as a ‘day in the life’ and a panel that companies can tap into for their dipstick research needs.

Subscriptions will be calculated using a 3-tiered approach:

  • 0.5% of annual ad spend up to R250m, with a minimum contribution of R35 000
  • Plus (if applicable) 0.4% of annual ad spend between R250m and R500m;
  • Plus (if applicable) 0.3% of annual ad spend in excess of R500m, with overall subscription capped at a maximum of R2.5 million per subscriber.

The range of what each company will have to pay is between R35 000 and R2.5 million. If they do not get a commitment from a critical mass of companies by April, they will mothball SAARF / MRF and the opportunity will be lost forever. At last count, they had a couple dozen companies signed up in principle, so the future for an AMPS replacement looks brighter than ever before.If it works, industry will have a market research solution that is:

  • Independent, credible and transparent
  • Agile and innovative
  • Focussed on understanding consumer behaviour wholistically rather than primarily focused on media consumption
  • Collaborative research as opposed to individual
  • Modular in design, facilitating or enabling a variety of research functions
  • Linked with the Establishment Survey and other Media Research through multibasing or data fusion

 

Eighty20  will continue to follow these developments closely and communicate this with our clients and colleagues. We would love to hear your thoughts on how these changes might affect you or any other comments you might have. To get in touch, contact andrew@eighty20.co.za

 

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