There is spice and fever the growing hot market for FM radio content, with marketers discovering an in-depth survey that delves deeper into listenership habits to infuse sophistication into an industry dependent on cruder audience measurements.
In its inaugural survey released last week, the Radio Audience Measurement (RAM) system, which tracks listener’s habits by grilling them in detail about content, radio jockeys, habits and patterns, has put Times Group’s Radio Mirchi in the lead with a 21.7 per cent share, followed by HT Media’s Fever FM 104 with 12 per cent.
RAM is a system thrown up by TAM Media Research as an in-depth alternative to the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) that initiated the ILT (Indian Listenership Track) which measures radio measurement by listener’s diaries on the so-called DAR (day after recall) methodology. The first set of RAM data covered Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Its findings showed Reliance’s Big FM trailing Fever 104 with a 11.6 per cent share, followed closely by Radio One 94.3 with 11.5 per cent.
Most FM stations have welcomed the RAM figures with the sole exception of Radio Mirchi, which has dismissed the RAM findings as flawed.
According to a media expert who did not wish to be quoted, Radio Mirchi intends to support the metric technology, which undoubtedly has advantages over the diary method. However this would require a lot of investments from the Rs. 400-crore industry, which may not be possible as of now.
“If one considers the possibilities as far as a continuous measurement is concerned and not a snapshot one, the options are the diary method and a metric method,” said LV Krishnan, CEO of Tam Media Research.
“Given the poor financial health of the radio industry (Rs 400 crore in size), the system turns out to have a prohibitive cost. It is six times more expensive than the diary method,” he said.
Apurva Purohit, Radio City CEO strongly came out in support of the RAM technology and said, “RAM is far more superior than the ILT as it gives more granularity of data. Ninety-five per cent of the world uses it. Moreover, media planners can do a lot more and better analysis with RAM findings.”