Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RAM faces brunt of radio broadcasters

Just as it enters the third year of its existence, the industry supported measurement system for gauging radio listenership - RAM- Radio Audience Measurement - is under the scanner.

Ironically, the radio broadcasters who campaigned for and supported RAM before and during its launch are the ones who are doubting its credibility now. What has prompted these broadcasters to question RAM are the allegedly major listenership shifts in the radio sphere.

After Big FM COO Tarun Katial voiced his opinions against the inconsistent RAM data (in an interview with radioandmusic.com), radio broadcasters with huge networks are being vocal about discrepancies in RAM data.

Radio Mirchi CEO Prashant Panday alleges, "There have been a lot of rapid movements in a station's cumes and TSL, which is uncharacteristic of radio as a medium. Changes in a station's listenership would depend on programming and marketing initiatives taken but at times the numbers change without any co-relationship with actions taken."

Enjoins Radio City EVP and national programming and marketing head Rana Barua, "We have been observing some discrepancies in the RAM data, which have been highlighted to RAM from time to time."

Barua mentions a case in point of a Delhi station which recorded an addition of 8.36 lakhs listeners (reach) in a single week. (Source: RAM, Wk 36, All 12+.) To further elaborate, he says the same station sees a 2.94 hour rise in TSL over the previous week (Source: RAM, Week 34, SEC AB 12+).

Radio One national programming director Vehrnon Ibrahim claims, "Radio is about consistency and we have seen unexplainable jumps both up and down in our data and that of other broadcasters. We have experienced dips even though no changes have been made in the quality of the show and the market was not volatile to take away listenership for that week."

Defending the allegations of inconsistency, TAM Media Research vice president Pradeep Hejmadi says, "Broadcasters have a preconceived notion that audiences should behave in a prescribed way and when that fails issues of 'inconsistency' arise. The purpose of research is defeated as the broadcasters use it to corroborate their hypothesis. We are in discussions with broadcasters and are resolving their issues. The measurement techniques, reporting cycle, validation process are absolutely consistent. Although such quantum shifts have been happening in the past as well, the radio industry

Source: http://www.radioandmusic.com

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