TAM Media Research’s AdEx India has announced a technical collaboration with RCS’ AirCheck to provide 24×7 data monitoring and analysis of advertising expenditures in radio to the industry. Taking a note of the reflection of media experts, the move is seen to be appreciated.
For the record, the Indian market already has AirCheck service in place that monitors radio. However, Atul Phadnis, VP, TAM Media Research, explains that the two services cannot be compared, “They are two different things. AirCheck does offer a spending system. It would give you more on points like who is playing what songs. Hence, the usage of the two is very different.”
With this collaboration, AirCheck gains the production rights and AdEx maintains the marketing onus. It brings together AirCheck’s ability to gather data with AdEx’ ability to present data, as Phadnis says, in a manner that media planners can understand. “The AirCheck structure isn’t in the form that the ad industry is comfortable with as there is no value attribution to it. But with Radio AdEx, data is available in a format that media planners can analyse and that too across four mediums,” he explains.
Sharing on the need to have such a structure in place, Phadnis says, “Traditional definition of competition is being redefined; for instance, if you take a city like Mumbai, different mediums are competing for the same ad monies and so a comparison across the mediums is required which is now possible with Radio AdEx.”
On part of the media players, the feedback is positive. Divya Radhakrishnan, Vice President, The MediaEdge, shares, “It’s an awaited move. Radio is an emerging medium and it makes sense to know more about it. There is the Indian Listenership Track but for radio advertising, there really wasn’t anything.”
Manish Porwal, General Manager, Starcom, echoes Radhakrishnan in his opinion. Throwing more light on this he explains, “For any medium to grow there are four essential ingredients – enough number of suppliers, as in content providers or vendors, enough number of users and hence enough number of buyers and data, tools and frameworks. Like print and TV, radio has the first three but it doesn’t have the fourth and in many ways, this has marred the growth of the medium itself.”
What the players are looking forward to is information like how heavy is competition on radio or what is a rival’s strategy on radio? Whether the ad spots have appeared as and when they are supposed to? A point that the players raise is why is data available only for four metros, covering 14 radio stations excluding AIR? “We did a survey amongst planners and advertisers and what would they like covered. The current coverage is guided by the results,” replies Phadnis.
Another point brought to fore is in regards to the pricing of the product. “Both parent companies (TAM and RCS) realise that radio is an upcoming medium. The pricing is taking that into consideration,” informs Phadnis, “We have even discussed that with the industry and there are comfort levels on that count.”
With the current industry estimates of the radio advertising industry, sized at Rs 220 crore, growing at 22 per cent annually, the move is an appreciated one for the industry. Whether it will boost radio growth is still to be seen but what it would definitely do is give a clear picture of the present status of radio industry in India.