FM radio listenership in Mumbai has grown over four times in the last three years. In Delhi, it has doubled during this period. A study conducted by AC Nielsen ORG-MARG’s Indian Listenership Track (ILT) reveals that FM radio listenership in Mumbai and Delhi reached 34 per cent each from 8 and 19 per cent, respectively, in 2000.
While the data highlights the potential of the industry, FM radio broadcasters, crippled by a licence fees regime, are on the verge of shutting shop.
Gautam Radia-controlled FM radio station in Mumbai has already announced a closure. Mid Day Multimedia-promoted Radio Mid Day has given a conditional notice for closure if the government did not replace the fixed licence model with a revenue sharing model.
Sumantra Datta, chief operating officer of Star India-marketed Radio City, said, “The FM radio broadcasting industry offers a huge growth potential as it is a free medium that has 24/7 access. It is in fact going to be the most powerful local advertising medium in future.”
The total listenership in Mumbai stands at 51.10 lakh and in Delhi at 35.18 lakh. Compared with FM, non-FM radio channels such as All India Radio (AIR), BBC and CNN draw roughly five per cent of the 12-years plus Mumbai population and one per cent that of Delhi’s.
Clearly, the data highlights that Mumbai offers better reach for non-FM radio channels than Delhi.
As per the study, the listenership is primarily youth centric. The incidence of listenership in Mumbai and Delhi is highest in the 15-30 age bracket followed the 12-14 age group and 30-39 age group.
In Delhi as well as in Mumbai, 30 per cent of women listen to FM radio. Around 36 per cent men in Mumbai tune in to FM channels while 38 per cent in Delhi.
In Mumbai, 80 per cent of listening happens at home whereas in Delhi it is 72 per cent. Delhi, which has a higher ownership of cars (13 per cent) and car radios (82 per cent), also has a higher incidence of in-car listenership (seven per cent) as compared to Mumbai where only two per cent of listening happens in the car.
Further, in either city, five per cent of the listening happens while commuting. Office listening accounts for seven per cent in Delhi as against four per cent in Mumbai.