Underestimated the power of radio? Indian Listenership Track (ILT 2004) conducted by MRUC and ACN ORG-MARG has brought out fairly comprehensive findings on radio listenership and other media habits of 3.1 % of India’s population, based in Mumbai and Delhi. From a select sample of 8318 households listed in the two cities, 2045 ‘yesterday listeners’ (YDL) was obtained in Mumbai while 1490 YDL in Delhi equally spread across all SEC’s. The findings of Wave 1 are based on interviews conducted during February –March this year.
Says Vidya Sen, Client Servicing Director (AC Nielsen) ORG-MARG, “ Radio is a rapidly growing medium, it has grown from a single player to an average of at least 3-4 channels in each city. If you were to examine the IRS figures, taken in 2000 and compare them with ILT 2003, you would find that the reach potential of FM Mumbai has grown by three times, and it has doubled in Delhi. The new age consumer sees radio as a service that remedies product related needs, interactivity, social and emotional needs and at the same time, updates, informs and entertains.”
ILT is devised to capture information through the Day after Recall –DAR methodology. The ILT measures the listenership of radio stations aired in the two metros along with interaction with other media, by day parts at the medium level, for television, print and internet.
The findings go as follows. At a combined market level, 37% is the daily reach potential of radio with daily 92% of them through any FM station. AIR enjoys 5% loyal listeners in Mumbai of the total 39% of radio listeners. 20-29 year olds patronise more of FM while the incidence is great amongst the age group of 15-30 years.
In Delhi, SEC A are predominantly listeners of FM while in Mumbai, the top SEC also listen to AIR. Radio listenership occurs primarily at home. On the flip side, car ownership is as low as 4% in Mumbai, of which 73% have a car with a radio. The study states that the city of Delhi starts the day early, with 53% waking up before 6 am for Suprabath and 30% of listeners using this medium before 8 am.
And now for the highlights. In the spontaneous awareness category, Mirchi scored a whopping 87% in Delhi and a 64% in Mumbai, while City scored 71% in Delhi and 68% in Mumbai. On the other hand, Red achieved a 24% in Mumbai and a 34% in Delhi.
Go 92.5 arrived at 14% awareness in Mumbai and a 4% in Delhi. Win 94.6 (which is no longer on air) derived 28% awareness level in Mumbai and around 1% in Delhi.
Top of the mind awareness of Radio Mirchi is 53% in Delhi, while Radio City rules Mumbai at 41%. While 27% of Radio City belongs to SEC A in Mumbai, this top segment in Delhi is high at 34%. Mirchi is uniformly popular across all ages but with Radio City, 12-29 years is the big group. FM reach potential, is comparable with the reach of individual channels and print vehicles.
The interesting bit happens to be the reach by SEC segregation of data. In Mumbai, Radio City has a reach of 27% in SEC A, 20% in SEC B, 18% in SEC C and 17% in SEC D and E. Within the same city, Mirchi has a share of 22% in SEC A, 17 % in SEC B, 15% in SEC C and 17% in SEC D and E. Again, in the city of Delhi, Radio Mirchi fares 34% in SEC A, 27% in SEC B, 23% in SEC C and 22% in SEC D and E. City fares 20% in SEC A within Delhi, 16% in SEC B, 12% in SEC C and 10% in SEC D and E.
NP Sathyamurthy, Director General, MRUC asserts, “Radio is indeed a rapidly evolving medium. The latest findings of ILT help in building the medium into the media plan. Radio stations can accelerate the process by building increasing reach and tailoring offerings better and of course through inventory rationalization.”
Radio Mirchi & Radio City react
Radio stations have their own perspective over the findings of ILT 2004. Says Prashant Pandey, COO, Radio Mirchi, “ Since the research has been conducted in accordance with MRUC, there cannot be any doubts about its credibility or relevance. It’s interesting to know that radio reach surpasses the reach of English dailies, which vindicates our stand in the media and advertiser community. The SEC (ABC) split, given by the study is just as relevant, because most brands target different socio economic groups. We aren’t too concerned about being number 2 in Mumbai, because every advertiser in today’s times opts for multi-city deals and the combination of our Delhi figures and Mumbai figures, obviously surpasses City’s share.”
Here if we look at the combined daily listenership for the two cities, radio Mirchi has 48.8 lakh listeners, Radio City has 39.31 lakh listeners and Red FM 12.68 lakhs.
Pandey adds, “ But lets not forget that the entire ILT 2004 study is based on the day after recall method. This methodology holds good for the paid medium, but when it’s free to air, you could come across certain loopholes. How many people actually remember, the programmes that they watched (or heard) the day before? Which is why, the concept of people meters emerged in the first place. Watch meters are available in advanced countries, which can keep an accurate tab on radio listenership, but to bring in those in India, it would require considerable investment and time.”
Meanwhile Sumantra Dutta, COO, Radio City believes, “ The numbers garnered by City or Mirchi, in each of the cities is just a micro perspective of the entire study. The core aspect is the increasing reach of radio and the kind of cost effective solutions that the medium can provide to the advertisers. For instance, the aspect of radio reach surpassing the reach of English newspapers is an interesting thought. After all, radio doesn’t require a person to be literate. Getting back to the numbers, we aren’t too concerned about the share attributed to us (within the city of Delhi). Radio is a dynamic landscape and what holds good for this month, could swing into reverse gear by the next month.”
Dutta adds, “ Radio has grown tremendously as a medium, the study vindicates the statement. Here I would like to point out, that most of the other stations (apart from dishing out the same variety of Hindi music) have done nothing to contribute to the growth of this medium. Radio City on the other hand, has gone out of its way to innovate and experiment, our commitment to newer formats such as soaps and humor segments have added to the equity of our brand and to radio listenership, as a whole.”
On the whole, it would not be wrong to hope that the findings of ILT 2004 will definitely reverse the fortunes of radio and turn it into more of an aggressive medium. And perhaps, change mindsets too, as far as the brand community is concerned.