| 18 May 2024
Trai to hold Open house on need for regulatory body for radio listenership measurement

NEW DELHI: An Open House is to be held in Delhi next week on the radio audience measurement and rating services in India.

The meet on 18 May 2016 has been called by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) which had issued a consultation paper on this subject on 15 March and sought views of stakeholders by 11 April and additional comments by 25 April.

This Open House is expected to be the last exercise before Trai sets its recommendations before the government.

In the paper, Trai wanted to know if there is a need to regulate the radio audience measurement and rating services and whether this should be done by the regulator/government or by self-regulatory bodies.

Trai has also suggested some broad contours for an industry led body proposed to be formed for regulating the radio rating system and sought views of stakeholders on these.

The paper also suggests some eligibility conditions for rating agencies and guidelines for methodology for audience measurement and wants views on these.

At the outset, Trai oted that the Information and Broadcasting ministry had issued guidelines for television rating agencies and an industry body - Broadcasting Audience Research Council (Barc) - has been entrusted with the task of conductingTV audience measurement.

Similarly, for the radio broadcasting sector, Radio Audience Measurement (RAM), which is an indicator of the number of listeners to a radio station, has become essential.

At present, radio audience measurement in India is conducted by All India Radio and TAM Media Research. AIR carries out periodical large scale radio audience surveys on various AIR channels. TAM Media Research conducts radio audience measurement on private FM radio channels through an independent division, which is a joint service between IMRB International and Nielsen Media Research. It uses the paper diary method to measure radio listenership with a panel size of 480 individuals each in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and listenership data is provided on a weekly basis.

Trai says the total advertising revenues of the radio broadcasting sector depend on the advertisement duration and the rates per unit time. The duration as well as the advertisements rates depends upon numbers and demographics of the radio listeners. Accordingly, there is a need for radio audience measurement which can measure the popularity of a channel or a programme for the advertisers and advertising agencies. This will assist them in selecting the right channel or programme at the right time to reach the target listeners. Further, it will also aid the radio channels in improving their programmes (both quality of the programme and content variety) for attracting more listeners. Advertisement revenues of the radio broadcasting sector are directly linked to listenership of radio channels.

Trai said the Consultation Paper had been issued to prescribe a framework for radio rating system in India that is conducive to growth, forward looking, and addresses the concerns of the stakeholders while protecting the interests of the consumers. The main objectives of the consultation paper are to ensure growth of the radio broadcasting sector; ensure transparency in radio audience measurement and ratings; ensure greater diversity and better quality content.