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RAM released: First report card has some good news for most FM stations

01-November-2007
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RAM released: First report card has some good news for most FM stations

The Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) data has gone live, and various FM radio stations and agencies now have access to weekly radio data for the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. As the first set of data was made available to radio broadcasters on October 31, 2007, officials from various stations were working till wee hours of the morning to see where their stations stood. As is seen in the television measurement, there are some parameters where most stations have distinct strengths and some, where most have clear weaknesses.

Data Snippets
As per RAM, Delhi has a listenership of 65 lakh, Mumbai has 74 lakh, while Bangalore has 36 lakh. RAM tracks the growth and fall in every station on a weekly basis. So far, the data from week 38 to week 42 are available. If the reach numbers are seen, the average figures of these five weeks place Radio Mirchi as the clear leader in Delhi, Red FM in Mumbai and Big FM in Bangalore.

Data is available for all three markets for all stations. Taking the example of the Mumbai market, for the All People 12+, All Day data, the weekly listenership share places Red FM as the lead player for all the five weeks – the station’s share fluctuating between 18 per cent and 20 per cent. There is no clear second player – Radio City, Radio Mirchi and Big FM swap places every week and the difference in shares vary from 0.2 per cent to 2-3 per cent. Radio One is the clear number five player, while Fever FM is a distant number six in this market.

However, if the TG is skewed to look at just the SEC AB 25-44 years in the Mumbai market, and the Target Audience Rating Point (TARP, which is a combination of a station’s reach and a listener’s time spent on the station) is seen, the game suddenly turns in the favour of Radio City. Red FM then, in fact, moves right to the fourth place in the Mumbai market. The SEC AB 25-44 years is the core TG for Radio City after the demographic segmentation that the station had undertaken before embarking on the ‘Whatte Fun’ platform. However, when the station is evaluated on this TG in Delhi, Radio Mirchi scores higher than Radio City.

Even though Big FM is just under a year in Bangalore, the station has very clear leadership. The reach numbers in this market suggest Radio Mirchi to be the second player, followed by the likes of SFM, Radio One and Radio City. Evidently, there are various ways to look at the RAM data numbers, and media planners and buyers have yet one more tool that would allow them to cut a target in various ways to best suit their media plans.

Most stations are excited with the numbers
Radio City is obviously very happy with these numbers. Apurva Purohit, CEO, Radio City, said, “These are very positive numbers for Radio City. In a sense, they vindicate our stance that segmentation is the nature of the game. We are very clear that we are focussing on the core SEC AB target. Mumbai is a very important market, and we lead with a significant distance in this market for this TG. In Delhi, we are a close number two. These numbers show that we are in the right direction.”

Purohit admitted that segmenting a market also meant sacrifice. However, she believed that this was the way forward for differentiation in the medium as well. She added, “Also, the SEC AB is not a small portion of the mass, it is a considerable 50-60 per cent. Right from our bidding strategy to the ‘Whatte Fun’ platform, our focus has been this TG for this reason.”

Tarun Katial, COO, Big FM, said, “We are very excited with the numbers. We are going to put more effort to get our audiences and work our way upwards. In November last year, we launched in Mumbai and shortly after in Bangalore. We are already number one in some markets, and in some other markets, there are weeks in which we are number one. I think we have done well for a radio station that is almost one year old.”

Radio data is seeing more fluctuation in the market on a weekly basis than what television data sees. All said, RAM has heightened the action that the radio medium in India is witnessing.

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