The Indian Listenership Track (ILT) 2006 Wave 2 listings have brought good cheer to Radio Mirchi in the New Year, which leads in the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and the newly included market of Kolkata. Other stations, too, have done quite well in these markets, with almost all radio stations registering growth or escaping with a negligible fall.
An elated Kaushik Ghosh, Senior VP-Marketing, Radio Mirchi, said, “In Delhi we maintain our 2:1 lead over the nearest competitor and in Mumbai we have increased the lead to 40 per cent. Kolkata has exceeded our expectations, we expected to be the No. 1 there by a good margin, but this kind of margin is awesome.”
When queried about their expectations, Shariq Patel, VP-Operations, Radio One, said, “After the tremendous growth of 259 per cent in our listenership shown in Wave 1, we expected a consolidation for us in this Wave 2.”
Abraham Thomas, COO, Red FM, said, “In Delhi, which saw quite a few private FM station launches, Red is the only one to have grown while the others have shown a drop in listenership. Red registered a staggering growth of 129 per cent over the same period (September-November 2006) in Mumbai.”
Radio City chose not to join in the celebrations. Rana Barua, Head Marketing, Radio City, said, “We really do not follow ILT results to track our performance as we have designed a very robust measure called the ‘Synovate Frequency Pulse’. This is a quarterly track conducted across Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.”
Talking about the key learnings from these results, Radio Mirchi’s Ghosh stressed on the need to identify a position, adopting it fully, having a great on-air product and marketing it well consistently.
Red FM’s Thomas felt that the new launches had not grown the total universe of listeners, He said, “The total listenership is constant (60.15 lakh in 2006 Wave 1 and 60.80 lakh in 2006 Wave 2). The 10 lakh listenerships that the new stations garnered do not seem to have affected this.” Radio One’s Patel, however, is happy to note that the market in Mumbai has grown in this Wave.
While all stations wanted the Indian Listenership Track to cover as many cities as possible, Thomas felt that it was critical to have a more robust measurement in the main cities rather than track listenership all over the country. He added, “The inherent problem of the current methodology is that ‘top of mind’ awareness affects actual listenership. It is dangerous to look at just one Wave in isolation. However, the trends will provide a more accurate picture. One must wait for a couple of more Waves.”
Ghosh was confident of keeping Mirchi’s leadership position intact and expected the overall market (in terms of listenership) to grow, while Patel expected a robust growth in the next Wave on the back of aggressive marketing and programming initiatives taken by Radio One. “Having consolidated our position as the No. 2 station, we are now gunning for the leadership position,” asserted Thomas.
Overall, nearly all the stations are pretty happy with the results, barring Radio City, which follows a different tracking system. Which channels provide the reach is for marketers to decide, till then let’s hear the fireworks.