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Commissioned studies lack viability, say experts

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Commissioned studies lack viability, say experts

The Indian radio industry is in the middle of research deficiencies. Different stations are currently involved in commissioned studies to address the problem. However, with every study throwing up vastly differentiated results, the market has quite a task at hand when it comes to take decisions on radio.

A Radio City–commissioned survey, done in the period of mid-January to early February 2004 by ACNielsen, places the station on top for various parameters in the Mumbai and Delhi markets. The research was done amongst male/female, SEC A, B and C and from 15-45 years belonging to households with FM access and listening to radio for at least three days in last one week including the previous day. The sample size for the research was 1000 each for Mumbai and Delhi.

According to the study, City has the highest listenership share with 42% in Mumbai, while Radio Mirchi follows with a 25%. Delhi again places City as the leader with 39% share and Mirchi at second with 34%. City also stands high on awareness with 40% in Mumbai and 33 in Delhi. Mirchi on the other hand has 28% awareness in Mumbai but beats City in Delhi with 41% awareness. On the parameter of time spent as well, Radio City claims a 1.4 hours in Mumbai and Mirchi trails with 1 hour. In Delhi market also City gets 1 hour in comparison to Mirchi’s 0.9.

If a comparison was drawn to the Delhi Radio Listenership Study, commissioned by Radio Mirchi in the month of December 2003, the results hold barely any similarity. IMRB International conducted this research in Delhi and it places Radio Mirchi as a clear leader there. Even if the data was seen in exactly the same TG and parameters, City is placed much behind Mirchi.

Throwing more light on the subject, NP Sathyamurthy, Director General, MRUC, says, “All I have to say is that customised research is good for diagnosing specific ailments. Indian listenership track (ILT ’04) is all about general health checks. Wait for two more and you will have pleasant surprises in Delhi and Mumbai. My partner, ACNielsen ORG MARG, and we believe in random sampling.”

Perhaps this is where the forthcoming syndicated MRUC data will play a role. Says Premjeet Sodhi, Channel Research Director, Intellect, “With these commissioned researches, methodology is often different. Hence, it is not viable to compare one with the other. Also, due to lack of complete information on these, people concerned tend to have reservations.”

Kartik Sharma, Director, MMRC adds, “Different research methodologies will generate different results. In the radio industry currently various factors are taken into consideration before taking a marketing decision. Previous experiences, returns on investments and the likes are evaluated apart from just the researches.”

Elaborating on MRUC data, he says, “It is a good beginning but we need something that brings together all three components that is clients, agencies and media owners to look at the radio research issue. MRUC data will provide the industry with a reliable currency. The methodology would be transparent and that makes all the difference.”


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