The Indian radio industry is working towards setting up a new currency as FM radio expands to more cities following the Phase III auctions. Three people familiar with developments confirmed this news with exchange4media.
According to sources, the Media Research User Council (MRUC) is currently working with a committee formed of radio operators to invite pitches from research agencies, both Indian and international, to set up the system. Interestingly, this time around, the radio industry is including even advertisers and agencies in the process. One person said that the idea is to have a technical committee consisting of at least 6 radio operators, 2 advertisers and 2 agencies. Some of the agencies that have reportedly been approached include the Dentsu Aegis Network and DDB Mudra.
The main reason behind the push for a new and efficient currency is that many radio operators are unhappy with the existing system (RAM) which is limited to only the top 4 metros. With FM radio expanding rapidly to new towns and cities across the length and breadth of the country, the need for a currency that is more extensive and has the confidence of the entire ecosystem is being felt.
There are also plans to include All India Radio (AIR) in the process. According to sources, the decision of who would be part of the technical committee should be completed within a month with the industry looking to set the system in place by next year.
Though there seem to be no immediate plans to stop RAM, it seems that RAM will likely be replaced by the new system once it is up and running.
“The measurement system is critical. It should not just relegate itself to four to five cities but also at least map all state capitals,” said Nisha Narayanan, COO of RED FM, when asked about how important measurement was for the radio sector.