ORG MARG survey findings, which came close on the heels of IMRB study, place Radio Mirchi right on the top in Mumbai. However, Radio City (no 2 according to the study) believes that at that point in time it was too new in the arena, and hence comparison is not just. Says Sumantra Dutta, COO, Radio City, "The fieldwork for the study was conducted when three stations including Radio Mirchi were about 45 days old while Radio City had been around only for about a week. To that extent, the research was badly timed to give results which are expected to be dependable and usable."
However, Farid Kureshi, Director- National Sales, Radio Mirchi does not agree. Says he, "The fieldwork of the ORG study was done between June 4th to June 30th. The last station in Mumbai, Radio City, was launched on 21st May. Even if u take 15th June ( a mid way point between 4th June -30th June, when the ORG study was done), they were around for a good 3 weeks. This time is enough for any station to leave a mark and establish itself." He also goes on to give figures from IMRB study (commissioned by Mirchi), conducted in July beginning. He says, "As per this study, the daily listenership of Radio was 55%, out of which Radio Mirchi was 91%(of the 55%), Radio City was 11%, Win was 2%, while Vividh Bharati was 11%."
However Dutta believes that even methodology adopted by ORG Marg left scope for improvements. Says he, "The methodology did not factor that an error can creep in when the person is listening to one station but states a competitor's name just because it is top of his mind given the way the questionnaire is structured and the way the answers are validated. This has also been accepted by Praveen Tripathi, consultant to ORG MARG on this project and a well known media/ research specialist. Also, in the past three months a lot has changed in the FM radio environment in Mumbai and the coming research will be able to show who is the real leader in the market”.
However, Go 92.5, which has been rated number 4 (Win 94.6 is at number 3) by the study has no issues with it. Says Rajesh Tahil, Station Head, Go92.5, "ORG has conducted the study based on a brief and a methodology that I am not aware of, and familiar with. But I have no big issues with their research. I would, though, like to add that we have not made any bones about the fact that we are a segmented and targeted radio brand for Mumbai. Our aim is to pick a section of the audience and get them to spend long hours listening to Go 92.5. Any measure that equates us with Vividh Bharati and others is going to dilute our impact."
But would it not turn the advertiser off, if the numbers reflect a station at the bottom of the ladder? Says Tahil, "I think it is a prejudiced way of looking at us, we like to see ourselves as the No.1 radio brand that is offering a differentiated radio station for the English speaking, upwardly mobile Mumbai audience. The advertiser having picked the no. 1 radio brand overall (Mirchi) then skips the me toos and comes straight to us because we offer a loyal and differentiated audience."