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Diary vs DAR radio pilot: Day-after-Recall gets the MRUC thumbs up, so far

22-September-2007
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Diary vs DAR radio pilot: Day-after-Recall gets the MRUC thumbs up, so far

The MRUC has released the findings of a Radio Pilot it had undertaken to study the Diary versus Day-after-Recall (DAR) methodologies. As per the findings, the Diary method reports higher listenership across time bands, but at the cost of accuracy. The DAR methodology, though not entirely accurate, scores significantly in capturing accurate listenership behaviour.

Nonetheless, the MRUC has added that further work is being undertaken to re-validate the DAR methodology with greater sample size while exploring other passive measurement options.

MRUC has planned a formal presentation to the industry on this on September 28, 2007.

MRUC’s Indian Listenership Track (ILT) 2006 ended with its last round of fieldwork in April 2007. MRUC then undertook a Radio Pilot from June 16 to July 8, 2007 using the coincidental method to evaluate the two research methodologies. TNS was chosen to undertake the study. The MRUC Radio Technical Committee – which was chaired by Roda Mehta, vice-chaired by TME’s Anupriya Acharya, with Jyoti Bansal, MPG; Shubra Sethi, GroupM; Anuj Suvarna, Red FM and Kaushik Ghosh, Radio Mirchi, along with the MRUC Secretariat Technical team of Sabina Solomon, Amit Nevrekar and Pramod Patil – formalised the research design.

The objective of the study was to understand listenership recording behaviour for DAR and the Diary Panel. Given the concern that diary recording did not take place on the day of listening, a variation was introduced to verify reality – there was daily collection of diaries, and post-week collection of diaries. Actual listening was undertaken by face-to-face verification for both DAR and Diary methods.

The pilot was conducted in Mumbai with a sample size of 1,270. The respondents consisted of both males and females, between 20 years and 39 years, from the SEC A, B, C & D households, who listened to FM radio yesterday for at least 5 minutes in a 15-minute period, and who listened to FM radio on an average for at least three days in a week.

The Dairy sample was split equally between daily and weekly collections. At the overall level, Coincidental Checks were divided into two parts – those found listening to FM radio at the time of the coincidental check, and those not found listening to FM radio at the time of the coincidental check. Two further checks were conducted within each of these parts.

MRUC states that the results show that in both the Diary as well as DAR modules, more than 50 per cent of FM listening is on mobile phones. Mobiles and radio sets form the two main receiving devices. In both modules, listenership for FM radio takes place primarily ‘in-home’ followed by ‘in-travel’. The norm of ‘weekly’ Diary collection has lower accuracy compared to ‘daily’ Diary collection.

Daily Diary collection did not approximate DAR data despite the same time lapse in data collection for the two methodologies. Listenership according to Diary is higher than DAR – almost three times higher at peak times. On an average, Diary reports twice the listenership of DAR.

MRUC further said that on Coincidental Checks, however, 85 per cent of Diary respondents listening to the radio misreported or wrongly recorded listenership, while DAR respondents recalled higher close-to-actual listening. At the time of the coincidental check, of those not listening to radio, Diary respondents (for both daily and weekly collection) claimed twice as many listening incidences compared to DAR.

For the record, in 2004, the MRUC had called for radio audience measurement proposals from IMRB and ACNielsen-ORG Marg to develop an industry platform for planning, buying and selling commercial radio time. The conclusion then was that given the early days for FM broadcasting, the DAR method proposed by ACNielsen would be most appropriate with two-monthly reporting for capturing changes.

This led to the ILT, which has so far been the only syndicated radio research for India. However, many new and old players of the radio industry have largely not supported the DAR methodology and hence, MRUC undertook a pilot to examine both methodologies. It may also be noted that another survey announced here is Radio Audience Measurement from TAM Media Research, which would use the Diary method.

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