The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) on Tuesday released a consultation paper on `Issues related to Radio Audience Measurement and ratings in India', inviting public response to the various issues related to audience rating of audio media companies.
FM radio operators solely depend on advertising for their revenue generation. Advertisement revenue of the radio broadcasting sector is directly linked to listenership of radio channels and advertising agencies depend on audience measurement, which indicates the popularity of a channel or a programme for selecting the right channel or programme at the right time to reach the target audience.
There is, therefore, a felt need for a credible, transparent and representative radio audience measurement system for generation and publication of radio ratings the world over.
Better ratings will promote a programme / channel or content. Incorrect rating will lead to production of content, which may not be really popular while good content and programmes may be left out. Therefore, there is a need to have accurate measurement and representative radio ratings for FM channels or programmes.
At present, radio ratings in India are conducted by All India Radio (AIR) and one private rating agency. AIR carries out periodical large scale radio audience surveys on various AIR channels. Some stakeholders, especially the private FM Radio operators, have raised concerns about the inadequate coverage and panel size of the radio audience measurement conducted by this private rating agency.
They are also concerned about the methodology used for the measurement. It is pertinent to mention that transparency, trust, credibility and acceptability of the radio audience measurement are key factors for its success. Therefore, there is a need to prescribe a framework for Radio Audience Measurement in India which is conducive, forward looking, growth oriented and one that protects the interests of the stakeholders.
Trai said it intends to ensure a forward looking, transparent and credible radio rating framework with a minimal regulatory intervention in the radio rating process.