Radio Audience Measurement (RAM), the radio arm of TAM Media Research that began its services in the last quarter of 2007, when the first set of data was released on October 31, 2007, has taken some key steps to upgrade itself. Apart from software updates, RAM is in the process of amalgamating AdEx data with listenership data to assist radio executives at the planning level. Industry leaders from the radio sector have said time and again that in the past months, even as advertisers and media planners had begun to consider RAM, they were doing so only for the macro level trends and not for media plans per se.
RAM is also looking at conducting a pilot in India in the last quarter of 2008 with phone meters to gauge how conducive this technology would be in the Indian media environment. This move would enable digital measurement in India and bring in minute-to-minute data for the radio medium as well. LV Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, said, “When we began measurement eight months back, we indicated that we would work with the industry to trail electronic measurement soon. We are just trying to live up to the promise.”
He added, “We’re trying our best to make the data as useful to users and based on feedback received in the coming months. There are software upgrades planned as well as Radio AdEx data integration with RAM. This is tailored along with educational programmes on Radio RAM data usage.”
The pilot would be funded by radio broadcasters and RAM is already in conversation with all key players. Radio heads have said that the cost involved would be the key decider on whether they would fund this initiative. Krishnan, however, informed that the phone meters, though more expensive than the diary, were cheaper than any other electronic meters.
He informed that the pilot would be conducted in either November or December 2008, a final decision on that would be taken later. In the present situation, the meters can capture sound bytes but cannot measure the music played on mobile phones. RAM is working on improving that. The pilot would comprise a sample of 100 respondents and the exercise would go on for four weeks. Since this technology is market neutral, the city where it would be conducted in would also be decided closer to the last quarter of the year.