In its process to give the industry a gold standard readership measurement metric, RSCI (Readers Studies Council of India) that has for the first time brought together two readership systems of the industry – IRS (Indian Readership Survey) and dormant NRS (National Readership Survey) – had initiated a pitch process for the research partner that would understand and execute the requirement for the new avatar of the IRS.
The pitch was for the term of 2013-2015. While the official word is still awaited, industry sources informed that Nielsen is the frontrunner to bag this project. The other strong contestant is the consortium of Hansa Research Group and Ipsos.
No comments were available from RSCI at the time of filing the report.
As is known, RSCI had sent out RFPs (Request For Proposals) earlier this year and apart from Nielsen and the Hansa-Ipsos consortium, had received bids also from Kantar Group that comprised IMRB, TNS and Kantar Media, Roy Morgan and GfK.
Industry sources informed that while RSCI has zeroed in on Nielsen already, the final decision would be taken at the MRUC (Media Research Users Council) board meeting to be held on August 28, 2012.
RSCI is working with a deadline for the new avatar of the IRS to be in field, with a pilot, by October 2012. A full field is planned for January 2013, with first results to be available by mid-2013. The last report of the IRS, with 2012 fieldwork, will be released in the first quarter of 2013. The intention is to make this the last IRS in its current form.
The agencies were evaluated on the basis of their response to the RFP by the Technical Committee, looking at three factors – comprehensiveness, capability and experience to meet the research requirements, and the extent to which they went beyond the brief. The RSCI also subsequently held chemistry meetings that were conducted by the Selection Committee, who sat through presentations in which agencies fielded their senior staff and global leadership.
Nielsen has been in news recently for the controversy in context to the NDTV lawsuit filed in New York State Court against TAM Media Research and its parent companies Nielsen and Kantar.
The new avatar of the IRS is one of the most watched out projects for the Indian print industry, as it would bring the sharp edge of measurement for different kinds of print media vehicles thereby assisting the industry to grow. The RSCI technical committee will be working very closely with the research agency, after it is appointed to ensure that the gold standard product that the RSCI has set out to achieve by this exercise.