It pays to be loud when you are unhappy. Magazine readership research has faced significant amount of flak from magazine publishers who have pointed out that both the methodology and approach to research is outdated in the changing media scenario. The National Readership Studies Council (NRSC) took cognizance of the fact at the meetings that they had with publishers and requested the Association of Indian Magazines (AIM) to offer suggestions that could be incorporated in the forthcoming rounds of National Readership Survey (NRS).
Action is coming from the Media Research User’s Council (MRUC) stable as well now. MRUC invited AIM for a meeting on the issue on November 23, 2006 to delve further on magazine research. MRUC General Manager, Sabina Solomon, explained that the trigger of the meeting was the continual feedback that readership surveys didn’t match up to required standards for magazines.
Solomon said, “This was really a meeting to table what magazines’ issues were with current readership surveys. We wanted to see whether we should take this forward by adding something to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) itself or look at a new survey that is only for magazines.”
Present in the meeting, in addition to MRUC and Hansa Research officials were AIM members like exchange4media Group’s Anurag Batra, India Today’s Ashish Bagga, Outlook’s Maheshwer Peri, and WWM officials, among others.
Some of the issues that were discussed were that niche magazines didn’t get covered; magazine related soft-metrics like readers visiting magazines more than once or the engagement in magazines and so on were inadequate at present since magazines are treated at par with newspapers. Another point made was that instead of looking at only demographics, it made sense to profile magazines in terms of psychographics as well.
MRUC would be the leading this initiative. A core team has been created to look into these issues, study the suggestions made, international research models and then make recommendations to the larger user group. The core team comprises Hansa Research official, India Today’s Malcolm Mistry, WWM’s Harjeet Singh, and Outlook’s Peri.
In addition to this, CyberMedia’s Rakesh Gupta volunteered to get a member from IDC, a player in the technology research space, while a representative from LMG’s Initiative will also be part of this core team to bring in the agency perspective.