Esha Media Research may foray into radio monitoring

KOLKATA: Esha Media Research, a media monitoring and research company, which currently monitors 140 channels across the nation, in all languages, is mulling to start radio monitoring.

The centre is considering allowing privately-owned FM radio channels to start their own news broadcast.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar in an earlier statement to the media had said, “My heart goes out to all the private FM players. I see no reason why it should not be allowed or why only All India Radio (AIR) can air news. Soon the auction for phase III will start and after that, one will hear the good news.”

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) listed Esha Media already has the system and technology for radio monitoring in place.

“We will start radio monitoring if the privately-owned FM radio channels start having dedicated news slots. We will see how many stations come up and what kind of news slots and contents are created for their news broadcast,” says Esha Media Research managing director RS Iyer.

He pinpoints that since radio can be played while on the move, so if the platform can create good programme schedules, then Esha is likely to do well in that vertical as well. Around 95 per cent of the research agency revenue is generated from the institutional clients, that is, corporate.

“If there is more corporate and current affairs content, it would be beneficial for us,” he says.

Presently, all the FM broadcasters, apart from AIR, are not allowed to air any news on current affairs, except for weather reports, stock market news and local traffic updates.

A city-based expert on the development says, “Once radio stations start airing news, the way advertisers and audience look at the medium will change. Apart from this, a lot of potential change in programming and tie ups with news agencies could be expected once the guidelines are clear.”

On Esha entering the radio monitoring space, he says, “It is a very progressive and logical step for Esha to foray into a similar business interest.”

Similarly, Incubators Group chairperson Kaushlendra Singh Sengar too feels that it is an innovative and good effort initiated by the company.

He, however, sounded a note of caution. He believes that keeping the future trend in mind it does not seem productive as today one can get news updates on phone, social networking portals and other web portals. “Listening to music on radio is one thing, but we can’t expect much growth in the near future for radio channels dedicated to news updates only.”

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