TAM Media Research has announced that its listenership survey Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) will go live from October this year. RAM will use the Diary methodology for listenership tracking, and will provide weekly data. It will start with Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, followed by Kolkata towards the year-end. The survey will be conducted in association with IMRB and Nielsen Media Research.
It may be recalled that Media Research Users Council (MRUC) recently announced its intention to follow the day-after-recall (DAR) methodology, since the results of a pilot they conducted on these methodologies resulted in favour of DAR.
However, according to Mark Neely, Regional Director, Radio Asia Pacific, Nielsen Media Research, “The Diary method can provide more in-depth information to the stations, agencies and advertisers than DAR.” As is known, ACNielsen India was the research agency that suggested and conducted DAR for MRUC’s radio survey.
Neely explained, “The radio industry then was developing and there was no demand for the level of information that Diary delivers, so DAR was used. My role is to look at providing in-depth information to radio stations, and Diary happens to be the method in solving that purpose at this point in time, which is why we are using this for RAM.”
L V Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, has called this a starting point towards creating a ‘currency’ for radio in the Indian market, stressing that Diary methodology is just the first step in that direction. “We will move to electronic meters by next year. The testing phase in Australia will take place in early 2008, and then we will bring it in India by late 2008. The testing phase would help in localising the meters for India,” he elaborated.
Krishnan further explained that with RAM service set to roll out, radio would be in a position to reap all the benefits that TV has been using all these years for its viewership. He also pointed out that to truly unleash the power of radio, RAM data has to be seen jointly by marketers or advertisers, and the radio channels. He said, “This is critical from a return on investment point of view, and to truly know the worth of investments, whether in ad breaks or programmes.”
In a session organised by TAM Media Research on RAM’s methodology, Pradeep Hejmadi, VP, TAM Media Research, highlighted the features of the survey that was conducted in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, and gave further insights about the methodology. The two-phased set-up process was divided into Radio Establishment Survey, which defined the reporting universe for RAM, and ascertained factors that influence radio consumption; followed by ‘Panel’ recruitment, counselling and reporting stage.
One of the major points that were derived from the RAM Baselines was the ‘portability’ of the medium. Around 79 per cent of FM owners in Mumbai have access to portable FM equipment, while Delhi and Bangalore report 90 per cent and 82 per cent of the same, respectively.
The Radio Establishment Survey, which sampled 3,000 people per city, was conducted over a period of seven weeks covering field work, validations and reporting. Random sampling was employed and face-to-face interviews were conducted, with controls in place, to ensure appropriate SEC, gender and age representation. The Establishment Survey will be conducted on a regular basis to validate the sample on an annual basis.
The ‘Panel’, with a reporting sample size of 480 individuals per city, will be chosen with primary control parameters like SEC, age and gender. Along with it, secondary control parameters will be used to align the Panel according to the location of the respondent and CHIAD (Chi-square Automatic Interactive Detector) Test used to determine the other secondary parameters for the different cities. The CHIAD test will be dependant on variables, including time spent listening to radio on previous day, household size, time spent watching TV or reading newspaper, ownership of audio device and mother tongue.
The Panel recruitment and counselling stage will comprise three stages that will include profiling, recruitment and ‘cool off’ period spread over 11 weeks. The listenership data will be available across demographic breaks of age 12+, gender and SEC.
The term ‘Reach’, according to RAM data, would mean the number of individuals who are exposed to the medium or a station, and it can be expressed in ‘number of people listening to’ or ‘percentage of the universe’. ‘Cumulative Reach’ would mean the number of individuals within the TG who are exposed to the medium/vehicle over a certain period of time. ‘Time Spent Listening’ would be the average amount of time spent by the listener of each station over the defined period of time and the value would be expressed in hours, minutes.
‘Average Audience’ would represent the audience listening to any quarter hour over the defined time period, while ‘Target Audience Rating Point’ (TARP) is the equivalent of TRP in television ratings. The value represents the audience, as a percentage of the universe, listening to any quarter hour over the defined time period and is represented in percentage. The software Radio Advisor used to compute the data is a product from the Nielsen stable and is the same as is used in international markets.