Indiantelevision dot com's Perspectives

What the fight's all about........
Different studies favour different radio stations

Posted on 16 January 2004


SPARR, ORG Marg, DRS, Initiative Media - lacking a uniform system of rating for either individual programmes or overall listeneship, each radio station is swearing by the study that suits and favours it the most.

The reason is apparent. Although the market size of radio is expected, according to Ficci estimates, to rise from 1.6 billion rupees in 2002, to 6.2 billion in 2007, the current situation is none too rosy. Spots are being sold at discounted rates, to fill up the inventory and lure in the odd retail and local advertiser.

Consequently, a series of readership based, programme recall based and brand recall based studies are doing the rounds, each touted as the definitive guide on radio listenership.

What SPARR says -

SPARR (Sections, Pullouts & Attitudinal Readership Research) of the MRUC conducted a study in July and August 2003. In the SPARR report, on a sub section called Lifestyle Study of Pullout Readers, it has dedicated one slide on radio listenership out of a total 122 slides and tried to indicate Radio listening preferences of readers. Radio Mirchi comes up trumps in this one. Radio Mirchi comes out on top with a figure of 57 followed by Star's Radio City at 49. Vivid Bharati's share is 34 while Red FM is still further back at 16. Those aged 12-17 tune into Radio Mirchi and Radio City the most. Vivid Bharati has older viewers in the age bracket 46+ tuning in.

What the DRS says -

Also done in July 2003, the study seeks to assess the actual listenership of different programmes as against brand recall of various stations. Living Media's RED FM benefited from the results of this study, as it found that high brand recall does not translate into listenership. It also found that 70 per cent of listeners of a particular programme are not able to associate it with the right FM channel. Some of RED's programmes were shown top ranked in Delhi.

What the Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) says -

Radio City swears by this one currently. Based on yesterday's listeners, it tracks all the SECs and, being a focussed radio listenership research, provides micro level data with regard to radio listenership in terms of daypart listenership. Latest findings indicate Radio City is top of the heap.

What Initiative Radio Track says -

Initiative Media's study has given top marks to Radio Mirchi in Mumbai, saying it scores highest on top of mind recall among all segments. On actual listenership however, Radio City has edged past it among students and is rapidly gaining among car owners, the study says. In Delhi, IM says Radio Mirchi enjoys the lead among students and housewives while Radio City is the leader among executives/businessmen both car and non-car owning.

What will drive FM -

According to Ficci estimates, once licencing gives way towards a revenue sharing model, increase in radio listener time will occur as a result of an overall improvement in content. Enhanced attractiveness of radio for advertisers through measures like increase in the number of FM radio stations and creation of nationwide bouquets as well as niche and regional channels as radio would also have the ability to offer advertisers a more focused and cost-effective reach as compared to print and television. Mass availabililty of inexpensive FM radio sets and penetration of private operators beyond metro cities like penetration of C&S households, will hold the key to the development of FM in the country.

Also read:

"Radio's share in the ad pie will grow to six or seven per cent in four to five years" - A P Parigi



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