The humble radio is back in reckoning. A recent study by IMRB International for Radio Mirchi has not only reported a sharp rise in radio audience in New Delhi during the last six months, it has also said that radio listenership is fast catching up with television viewership in the capital city.
In terms of time spent listening (TSL), radio listeners spend on an average 103 minutes daily listening to the medium, not far behind the 137 minutes of time spent viewing television, the study said.
It also said that out of Delhi’s 8.59 million people in the age group of 15 and above, 50 per cent listen to radio everyday.
Commenting on the findings, Prashant Panday, COO of Entertainment Network India Ltd, the company which runs the Radio Mirchi FM stations, said that radio is developing strong loyalty amongst different listener groups.
“Early morning is developing as a family band for radio, while late night is developing as a students’ band. Housewives enter late in the morning but stay tuned till late in the afternoon. Radio TSL is higher than time spent viewing television till about 3:00 pm,” he said.
He added that though it was driven by the 15-24 age group audience initially, it is fast catching up with working men and housewives.
In addition, radio listening is fast catching up amongst the affluent segments of the society in Delhi. While 31 per cent of the 5.43 million people in the socio-economc classification sectors A,B and C listened to radio everyday in June 2003, the number had risen sharply to 53 per cent in December 2003, as per the study.
“The penetration of radio is as high as 70 per cent in socio-economic classification A, though it spreads across all income groups,” Panday added.
The IMRB study also says that Radio Mirchi is the leading FM radio station in Delhi with a 79 per cent share of the market. The study was carried out by IMRB International between December 6 and December 2 using a sample of 1,114 people.
Though Radio has a better audience than six months ago, it is yet to translate into big bucks for the medium.
“The secondages booked for advertising is up and so is the number of brands on radio. But revenues are still poor,” Panday said. However, the retail sector has started advertising more and more on the medium.