No unified measurement: So, how does the radio industry work?

Radio operators, in the absence of an extensive unified measurement currency, adopt RAM, IRS 2018 or data from third-party research agency. How does it work for them?

Radio Mirchi’s second channel Mirchi 95 pulls in 9.6 lakh listeners in Bengaluru & Hyderabad, and Red FM has more than 35 per cent market share in Kerala. Thanks to the Indian Readership Survey (IRS) launched this year, these detailed breakups of the listenership data are now available with radio channels.

Undoubtedly, such insights from IRS data based on listener profile, demographics, frequency and timeband come in extremely handy for the radio industry, which does not have a unified measurement in place. And in the absence of a unified system, most players take help of third-party agencies, commission independent researches or subscribe to Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) data by TAM Media Research.

To each his own
Take, for instance, ENIL-led Radio Mirchi. Prior to the launch of IRS, which they have now adopted as their currency, the radio station worked with IPSOS, the third largest market research company in the world to gather listenership data from 2015-17. The channel had initially subscribed to RAM data, but pulled out of it in 2015.

According to GG Jayanta, National Marketing Head, Radio Mirchi, IRS 2017 is an “excellent tool”.
“It shows the importance of radio as a medium and category. The penetration of radio has increased by 15 percentage points in urban areas, from 15% to 28%, representing a growth of 87% in listenership,” he shared.

Another big player, Red FM, follows IRS to a certain extent, especially for tier-II and III towns. However, the station, depending on the need, conducts qualitative study in different markets from time to time.

Nisha Narayanan, COO & Director, RED FM & Redtro and CEO, Digital Radio, shared, “To enhance the product and marketing, we do an internal research that we mostly keep to ourselves. But the industry needs a unified radio measurement system.”

Homegrown international players such as Radio One measure consumer behaviour through an internal tool called ‘The International Indian Monitor.’ It helps them track the unique upscale audience digitally using social media.
Vineet Singh Hukmani, MD & CEO, 94.3 Radio One, mentioned, “For reach quantitative measurement of radio, the annual IRS study is good. But the radio industry needs to understand that advertisers want engagement data, and reach is not enough.”

However there are stations, such as My FM, that neither follow IRS nor RAM. My FM, which operates out of 30 tier-II and tier-III cities, follow their own currency for product purpose.
Rahul Namjoshi, Business Head, MY FM, shared that they work with an agency called Karvy. They conduct quarterly survey with 200 respondents as sample size in top 12 cities each.
“The idea is to improve our product and see where we stand. It gazes the listenership preferences on RJs, music and timeband,” Namjoshi said.

Let's talk sales
The advertising revenue of the industry is estimated to grow by 10 per cent in 2018 to stand at Rs 2,063 crore. But in an industry governed by advertising revenue and somewhat challenged by the lack of a unified measurement currency, how does the stations sell their inventory?
In most cases, advertisers take a 360-degree approach that goes beyond FCT to digital and on-ground properties. Moreover, some are of the opinion that radio is not sold on measurement but on engagement, impact, reach and frequency.

According to Narayanan, radio inventory is sold based on brand perception. As a result, they are part of most of the media plans, especially if the planner wants to reach out to the younger audience.
Talking about the strategy followed by her channel, Narayanan said, “We don’t restrict to FCT as we believe in a 360-degree approach. There are different verticals for revenue generation such as digital and events. Content monetization is another area we focus on. It can be combined based on client requirement (event, digital supported with on-air).”

Radio Mirchi uses IRS 2017 as its currency to sell its inventory to the advertisers. Jayanta shared, “They (advertisers) are looking for a full suite of solutions beyond radio, encompassing integration with all or any of our concerts, events, digital and web series. Our business has grown on the back of ideas, innovation and partnership with the client.”

My FM works on their “client’s business challenges”. Namjoshi claimed that their approach is different from others.
“We propose media solutions (such as on-ground activation) which can address business challenges.”
The station has been working with national and local brands (such as Lotus Electronics store in Indore) for the past 11 years, he said.

But Asheesh Chatterjee, CFO, Big FM, is of the opinion that radio is sold more as a medium with “high-impact, high-frequency reach.”

Big FM, one of the subscribers to RAM, operates more on the ‘hero, hub, hygiene’ model. The station has worked with more than 1,800 brands.

Chatterjee explained, “Heroes are the bigger tentpole properties with highest brand recall such as Big Golden Voice. In hub, comes our real estate, gadget and movie review shows which have a narrow TG. These unique formats offer rich content integration. This makes the brand recall much better as the client message is passed across in a far more meaningful and clutter-breaking manner. Big FM looks at platform agnostic solutions. Some solutions get augmented in radio and are amplified on digital property.”

Meanwhile, even media planners feel challenged as the medium suffers from a lack of sufficient reliable and regular data. Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO of South Asia Dentsu Aegis Network - Aegis Group, shared, “There isn’t sufficient radio research in India. It is a challenge for media planners as they have to evaluate based on their judgement, intuition and the paltry available data. As a result, it has remained a relatively smaller medium.”

Advertisers like KidZania, who has Radio City as their radio partner, look at RAM figures given by agencies and stations. Tarandeep Singh Sekhon, Marketing Director, KidZania, said, “I am making do with what’s available. With a mix of qualitative feedback, we mostly do FCT and bigger activation.”

So while different stations resort to different ways to measure their audience, industry experts feel that it is absolutely necessary for the category to have a unified audience measurement system. Well, the good news is that AROI and MRUC are currently working on such a system.

Where’s RAM heading
RAM subscribers keep a track of their weekly data from four main markets based on physical diary-entry method. But the methodology will soon transition into digital medium as TAM Media Research is testing a software that captures in-mobile listening.

L V Krishnan, CEO, Tam Media Research, explained, “With listening to audio content getting more skewed to the mobile platform, it is only imperative that measurement moves in the same direction. Hence, we are testing a measurement software that picks up the audio bits of the content for that specific frequency. The software encrypts whatever is getting transmitted or listened by the audience. At the second level, it reports which station and what respondents listen to. It’s all real time basis. It’s the stage one of going digital.”

“With no hardware needed in this method, the measurement is scalable in nature and can be expanded to remaining markets. Also, this fits into our overall vision of measuring not just radio, but audio as well. In this manner, we will also be able to measure audio streaming apps and podcasts on mobile device. Thus one can measure the interplay between various audio platforms,” Krishnan added.
For the process, Tam Media Research has roped in Vtion as their software partner and field agency Kantar. The research agency plans to unveil the new system for some markets this year-end.

So, till the new unified measurement system takes shape and TAM’s digital measurement comes to form, the current state of affairs with regards to measurement and selling, it seems, will continue.

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Radio City lines up special Holi activities for Mumbai and Rajasthan

Radio City has planned various on-air and social media activities for the listeners across the two cities ahead of Holi

RadioCity

As the nation celebrates Holi this year, Radio City, India’s largest radio network, has planned various on-air and social media activities for the listeners across Rajasthan and Mumbai.

In Mumbai, Radio City, on the 20th and 21st March 2019, has planned a unique on-air activity, ‘Burra toh Maano Holi Hai’. Through this activity, the listeners will be educated on the do’s and don’ts of playing Holi such as avoiding under the influence of alcohol and not harming animals during the celebrations. Radio City will also play contests with listeners and reward them with passes for Holi parties across the city.

In Rajasthan, cities such as Udaipur, Kota, Bikaner, Radio City have lined up a list of interesting and fun activities for the listeners. Radio City, through the campaign ‘City Ki Taane’ aims to celebrate the festival of colours in the most unique way through on-air and social media initiatives. It is on this day that people rejoice and celebrate the festival of colors.

Taking this thought ahead, Radio City will air fun, quirky, and sarcastic content covering the celebrities who garnered negative publicity last year. This will also be amplified digitally through funny videos. Radio City Jaipur and Ajmer will witness an eco-friendly vibe with ‘City Ki Green Holi’ activity, through which the Radio City team will giveaway tree saplings to the listeners and urge them to plant the saplings in and around their societies and encourage the citizens to make their surroundings green.

92.7 BIG FM's 'Mumbai Maska Maar Ke' with Vrajesh Hirjee is No.1 morning show

The show hosted by celebrity radio jockey Vrajesh Hirjee has maintained the top rank consistently for the last four weeks

Vrajesh Hirjee

Radio network 92.7 BIG FM recently launched morning show 'Mumbai Maska Maar Ke' which has now become the No.1 breakfast show as per the RAM ratings. 

The breakfast show hosted by actor, comedian and RJ, Vrajesh Hirjee has continued to top the RAM ratings from week 4 – 9, 2019 with a 14.6 per cent share (Source: RAM – Week 4-9 2019; 6 week average. TG: 12+ All). The carefree, light-hearted morning show that airs from 7 am to 11 am Monday to Saturday, captures the essence of Mumbai in every aspect inspiring the thinking of every Mumbaikar. The popular offering has resonated well with the audience, making it the leading breakfast show in Mumbai in such a short span of time.

Speaking about the positive response received by the show, Hirjee said, "As an artist and a radio jockey, I have always tried my best to connect with the audience, naturally. Because of the treatment of the show 'Mumbai Maska Maar ke', I get enough freedom to connect with listeners on topics pertaining to the city with alternate perspectives. It is wonderful to see the kind of positive response that the show has received, so far, and I hope it only continues further. 92.7 BIG FM has been a great brand to work with; I am really enjoying my real life role as a radio jockey with them, and more so hosting the breakfast show.”

Speaking about the show and its ratings, spokesperson from BIG FM said, "Dhun Badal Ke toh Dekho has received an overwhelming response from listeners and advertisers from across the country. As part of our revamp, we roped in Vrajesh Hirjee for the morning show in Mumbai to deliver on this promise. Today, we are glad to witness the association reap outstanding results. The ratings are a testament to the well-curated content of the show combined with Vrajesh's inherent talent and knowledge on everyday topics, and that has certainly played a strong role in enhancing the listenership of the show. We aim to keep the momentum going and congratulate Vrajesh Hirjee for the show.”

The show ‘Mumbai Maska Maar Ke' helps listeners build a unique and positive perspective about Mumbai. Hirjee invokes positive conversations and insights around current affairs and key topics pertaining to the city, to enable Mumbai’s listeners begin their day with a fresh new outlook.

92.7 Big FM Agra enhanced the cultural festivities at the ‘Taj Mahotsav’

The radio station did a studio shift for RJ Akansha’s live show throughout the 10-day cultural festival

Big FM

Radio network 92.7 BIG FM successfully concluded its association with Taj Mahotsav 2019, a festival which showcases the rich cultural heritage of Agra. 

Considering the local connect and reach in the region, 92.7 BIG FM was roped in as the official radio partner for one of the biggest cultural fest in the city. It engaged the locals on-ground and on-air with a studio shift at Shilpgram, Agra and hosted live shows and interviews of artists performing at the 10-day-long artistic extravaganza.

As a part of the association, 92.7 BIG FM effectively showcased the essence of the Mahotsav and city’s excellence in art, craft and culture through dedicated programming on-air. To increase the festival fervour across the day, an on-air property titled BIG Taj Mahotsav was created which was sponsored by Tapan Group, powered by Chaubey Ji Masale and had associate sponsorship from Amrit Sharbati. The radio station did a studio shift where RJ Akansha went live from the on-ground venue throughout the 10 days of the festival. She interviewed celebrities including Usha Uthup, Altaf Raja, Jasbir Jassi, who graced the festival with their presence. Apart from the celebrities, RJ Akanksha was seen engaging with festival attendees through fun on-air interactions and games and giving away huge gratifications to contest winners. 

Speaking about associating with Taj Mahotsav, BIG FM spokesperson said, “We are glad to partner with a widely followed cultural festival like ‘Taj Mahotsav’. Through this association, we leveraged our reach and created hyper-local content across on-air and digital mediums inadvertently connecting a wider set of audience through this historic event. Hosting RJ Akanksha’s show live from the venue was an important leg of the activity. The show’s theme perfectly resonated with the essence of the event and served as a perfect medium for aspiring artisans to be known in the region through insightful interviews.”

The on-air elements from the festival were also simulcast on the radio station’s digital platforms thereby bringing the festivities closer to the masses and providing the required combination of audio and visual entertainment to listeners across the city. 

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RAM Ratings Week 8: Fever FM, Radio City, and Radio Mirchi dominate in Mumbai

Radio City continues to retain the leading position in Bangalore, while Radio Mirchi rules in Kolkata

RAM Radio

In Week 8 of the RAM Ratings, Fever FM continues to retain its dominance in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio City and Radio Mirchi lead in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively. 

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM held a 17.5 per cent share, followed by Radio City and Radio Mirchi. Early morning, followed by mid-morning and morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM also led in Delhi with an 18 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. Radio City took the second position with 14 per cent share, while Radio held the third spot with a 13 per cent share. Early morning, followed by evening and night time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio City continues to hold the number position in Bangalore with a 25.5 per cent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. This is followed by Big FM with 19 per cent share and Radio Mirchi with 16 per cent share. Afternoon, followed by mid.morning and evening time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Kolkata, Radio Mirchi continues to dominate with a 19 per cent share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners, Fever FM took the second position with 18 per cent share, while Big FM held the third position with 17 per cent share. Morning, followed by mid-morning and afternoon time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

 

The Golden Mikes Awards 2019 are here - submit your entries now!

The time will be up on April 1 when entries for the ninth edition of exchange4media Golden Mikes Awards 2019 close

Golden Mikes 2019

Launched in 2010, Golden Mikes Radio Advertising Awards celebrates the very best of Indian radio, honouring outstanding programming, on-air personalities, marketing and promotions and creativity within the industry. The awards acknowledge the contribution of advertising agencies, media agencies, radio stations, brand and others to the growth of the radio industry. 

The ninth edition is accepting nominations for radio campaigns executed from March 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019 across various categories: Effectiveness, Creativity, Promotions, Innovation, Broadcaster, Language radio and Excellence. You can send in your entries by April 1, 2019. 
Like every year there will be an exhaustive evaluation of the entries by the grand jury chaired by Ramakrishnan Ramamurthi, Chief Executive of Polycab.

This year the event will also host a radio advertising conference called On Air. In its very first edition, the conference will be a half day event consisting eminent speakers, panel discussions and an interactive fireside chat discussing the various facets of radio advertising such as: Radio keeping up with the Digital Age, Radio trends & challenges in having a proper Measuring Metric system, the Importance of Regional Radio Advertising, radio still being one of the fastest growing traditional mediums and its opportunities for Brands, Agencies, Marketers and much more.

Don’t forget to send in your entries, you still have time to be a part of one of the biggest radio advertising events.

To know more, click here: https://e4mevents.com/golden-mikes-2019/

RAM Ratings Week 7: Fever FM continues to rule in Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain their lead in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively

RAM Radio

In Week 7 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continued to dominate in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio City led in Bangalore and Radio Mirchi held the top spot in Kolkata.

In Mumbai, in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM held a 17.6 per cent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 13 per cent share and Big FM with 12 per cent. Early morning, followed by mid-morning and morning time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM was also in the leading position in Delhi with a 17.7 per cent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. This was followed by Radio City with 14 per cent share and Radio Mirchi with 13 per cent share. Early morning, followed by evening and night time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, Radio City retained the lead with a 25 per cent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. Big FM garnered 20 per cent share, while Radio Mirchi took the third spot with a 16 per cent share. Evening, followed by mid-morning and night time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi continues to be the leader in Kolkata with 19 per cent in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Big FM followed with a 17 per cent share, while Fever FM held a 16 per cent share. Morning, followed by afternoon and mid-morning time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

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Radio Mango launches second installment of its ‘Song-Distance’ campaign

For the campaign hoardings all over town approximated distances to the number of songs you could listen to before reaching a destination

Radio Mango Song Distance Campaign

Time is only as quick or slow as your state of mind. Stuck in traffic, surrounded by the impatient honks of a hundred cars and the terror-inducing antics of two-wheelers in a hurry, the two minutes to the next green light may seem like an eternity. But if you are humming along to a timeless classic, the same two minutes may vanish like two seconds! Radio Mango speaks the language of music.

It is this promise they made in their tagline ‘Nattilengum Pattayi’, which, based on the context can mean ‘Music everywhere’ or ‘talk of the town.’ These two ideas were married when they launched their much lauded ‘song-distance campaign’ a few years ago.

Hoardings all over town approximated distances to the number of songs you could listen to before you got to your destination. “Our listeners – and just about anyone out on the roads – had a fun time calculating the number of songs it actually took and would often call us to tell us we were right or that the traffic had made our calculation horribly wrong. It achieved both our purposes – at least for a while, people forgot the tedium of traffic and just focused on the music. It became the talk of the town,” said Ashok KG, Head Marcom & Activation.

In 2019 ‘Song-Distance’ campaign 2.0 was launched. “We couldn’t just repeat what we had done before, despite its huge success. This time we took the help of technology to make it even more interesting. Hoardings that appeared at major junctions didn't just tell you the number of songs it will take for you to get to wherever you need to be – it calculated time-based on the state of traffic, in real time,” said Ashok.  

So, the same hoarding that told you that 2 songs will get you to the nearest mall on your way home from the gym in the morning will tell you that it now takes 5 songs – at peak hours. The traffic data available with Google Maps is used here on the technology front. “This one-of-a-kind use of technology is what we offered our listeners this time around. Effective. Engaging,” added Ashok.

Satyanarayana Murthy steps down as Radio Indigo CEO

Before Radio Indigo, Murthy was National Marketing Head at Radio City where he had stint of almost seven years

Satyanarayana Murthy

Satyanarayana Murthy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Radio Indigo has stepped down from his role.

Murthy joined Radio Indigo in 2016 where his mandate included designing its new growth story and implementing the overall vision of the organisation. He was also responsible for refurbishing the brand to make it relevant to the consumers and advertisers in the changed landscape.

A part of Jupiter Capital group, Radio Indigo has operations in Bangalore and Goa and it has also bracketed itself in the international music niche.

Prior to joining Radio Indigo, Murthy was National Marketing Head at Radio City where he worked for seven years.

Aside from his career in Radio, Murthy has also worked with L&T, Bharat Shell and Adlabs Films. 

India is unique in the way different trends co-exist: Shashi S Vempati, Prasar Bharati

At a talk on ‘Digital Broadcasting and Future of Journalism’, Vempati, Prasar Bharati CEO, spoke about the role played by public broadcasters in the emergence of New India and other issues

Vempati

Public broadcasters need to re-invent themselves to stay relevant, said Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati at a talk organised by IIT Kanpur on ‘Digital Broadcasting and the Future of Journalism’ under the News Indian Manthan Leadership talk series on Wednesday. 

Vempati spoke on a gamut of issues, including the general state of public broadcasting, the role played by public broadcasters in the emergence of New India, the recent initiatives taken by Prasar Bharati and how they were preparing for the Digital era. 

On the general state of public broadcasting, Vempati said: “When we were growing up, we had one channel, one radio station, now it is a different environment. More so, in the last 10 years media consumption has undergone a radical change. Broadcasters across the globe have been feeling the same because everything has become Digital and On Demand. WhatsApp, Netflix and Amazon Prime have re-written the rules of how media is being consumed. This is not the era when the entire family gathered around TV sets.”

Vempati also shed light on how different trends co-exist in India. “India is unique. The story of new India is not about one government scheme. It is the story of how many different trends co-exist, how technology has evolved and how economy has grown, reflecting the length, breadth, diversity and complexity of India as a country. That’s how we are looking at a new India.”

On the changes in the country’s TV viewership, Vempati said: “Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) does a survey every year, which shows how the demographic in this country has changed. The survey in 2016 and in 2018 has shown dramatic changes in the country in terms of how electrification has led to a shift in TV penetration. Even though Digital is growing, TV viewing has also grown along. There was a large part of the country which did not have 24x7 electricity and with more homes getting electrified, TV viewership is on the rise.”

In India, Print media is still growing as opposed to most other countries, Vempati said. “There are several trends happening in India at the same time. At the top end of the society, there is a shift towards Digital and On Demand content, while traditional media continues to dominate in the bottom of the structure. So both trends co-exist,” he added. 

According to Vempati, public broadcasters must re-invent themselves to stay relevant. He also spoke about the funding of channels for public broadcasters.  “Funding models of public broadcasters vary across the globe. India’s model of public broadcasting is unique in the world. In case of BBC, there is something called a licence fee. So if you want a Television set you have to pay the fee and that goes to the public broadcaster. The same method is followed in Japan too.”

Speaking about the funding of India’s public broadcasters, Vempati said: “In case of India, it is very unique. The funding model in India is slightly hybrid where the wages of employees comes from the government, while the cost of operations must be funded by public broadcasters themselves. So we need to generate ad revenue to fund our operational cost and no public broadcaster in the world does that.” 

He also shared his insight on the challenges of public broadcasting in India. “In case of Doordarshan, there are 24 satellite channels and a large number of terrestrial stations. In the case of All India Radio, it is a complex network running into few Hindi stations. The major challenges lie in the number of languages and dialects in which content is created.”

Speaking on how Prasar Bharati is preparing for the Digital era, Vempati said: “Historically most of our terrestrial network, both TV and Radio, used analogue technology. One of the shifts that we started a few years back was to move to Digital terrestrial TV. Similarly, about 38 radio transmissions have moved to Digital transmission.”

The on-demand section is another interesting story, where we have significantly increased our Digital presence. We have two news channels-DD News and Rajya Sabha TV-with millions of subscribers on YouTube. Today, the content on YouTube is available in languages like Garo, Khasi, Dogri and several other dialects. That has increased the Digital footprint of the public broadcaster.”

Prasar Bharati has more than 270 active social media handles and early last year it integrated AIR with Amazon Alexa, Vempati said. 

“The future of digital broadcasting is convergence. In recent times, DD India has caught the attention of a number of people and our intention behind carrying DD India was not to fight a domestic battle with other private broadcasters. We wanted to take DD India global. We took the first step last week when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in Seoul. We had an MoU signed with the Korean public broadcaster KBS and Prasar Bharati. As part of that MoU, DD India will be carried in the Korean OTT platform and KBS will be carried on Free Dish-DTH. This is a baby step for creating a global voice for India,” Vempati signed off. 

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RAM Ratings Week 6: Fever FM continues to hold top position in Mumbai and Delhi

Radio City and Radio Mirchi retain the lead in Bangalore and Kolkata respectively

RAMRadio

In Week 6 of the RAM ratings, Fever FM continues to dominate in Mumbai and Delhi, while Radio City leads in Bangalore and Radio held the top spot in Kolkata.

In Mumbai in a universe of 12.2 million listeners, Fever FM led with a 17.3 percent share, followed by Radio Mirchi with 13 percent and Radio City. Early morning followed by mid-morning and morning time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Fever FM was also in the lead in Delhi with 18.6 percent share in a universe of 16.5 million listeners. This was followed by Radio City with 13 percent share and Radio Nasha with 12 percent. Evening, followed by early morning and mid-morning time band observed the highest listenership on total radio.

In Bangalore, Radio City retained its top spot with a 25.5 percent share in a universe of 5.3 million listeners. Big FM followed with a 19 percent share while Radio Mirchi held the third spot with 17 percent. Afternoon followed by evening and then mid-morning time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

Radio Mirchi remained the leader in Week 6 in Kolkata with a 19 percent share in a universe of 9.1 million listeners. Fever FM followed at 18 percent, and Big FM held the third position with a 17 percent share. Morning followed by afternoon and mid-morning time bands observed the highest listenership on total radio.

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