The Indian radio industry is divided on the radio listenership tracking issue in regards to the methodology used for radio surveys. Even the Media Research Users’ Council (MRUC) is conducting a pilot between Day-after-Recall (DAR) and the Diary methodologies to ascertain which technique it would finally use for radio surveys.
In the meanwhile, as a completion of the Indian Listenership Track (ILT), MRUC has released the Wave 4 for Kolkata. The Wave 4 findings for Mumbai and Delhi were released in May 2007. So far, ILT has seen four waves in 2006 for Mumbai and Delhi and only three waves for Kolkata, since this market was included in the survey at a later stage.
The Wave 4 results for the period May 5 to August 23, 2007 indicate that Radio Mirchi has increased its listenership by 1.34 lakh listeners from Wave 3 (February 17, 2007 to April 28, 2007). The new entrant, Friends FM, started operations on February 28, 2007, and was not considered in the previous wave. The player has entered the list with 2.23 lakh listeners. Red FM, Power FM, Air Primary and Big FM have lost listenership in the eastern metropolis, according to the available data. Interestingly, Air FM Gold and Air FM Rainbow have increased their listenership by 0.41 lakh and 0.50 lakh listeners respectively.
Prashant Panday, CEO, Radio Mirchi, expressed his happiness with the results. When questioned about the drop in listenership in the previous wave, he said, “I am not worried about that because with the launch of new stations, it is bound to happen. The good thing is that the lead between us and the number two player has increased in the present wave.”
Abraham Thomas, COO, Red FM, said, “There is no clear story emerging in this wave, although there were some interesting programme initiatives made in the market place by different players.”
Comments were not available from Big FM at the time of filing the story.
Various radio players have made obvious their displeasure over the DAR methodology used for ILT. Subsequently, TAM Media Research even announced Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) that would use the Diary methodology. Even during its announcement, RAM had its share of supporters such as Radio City, Big FM, Red FM and Fever FM. Close on its heels, MRUC also announced its plans for a pilot study using the Diary methodology to track listenership. The findings of both RAM as well as the MRUC pilot study is expected soon.