IRS takes television audience measurement to rural areas

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Publishing
Last updated : May 02, 2005
The study indicates several interesting facts such as South India contributing to almost 50 per cent of the C&S households in India

"IRS is the world's biggest misnomer after WPP,".says PV Narayanamoorthy, regional director-strategic resources, Carat Media Services, while emphasising on the fact that IRS is much more than just a readership survey.

For the uninitiated, WPP - the second largest advertising group - stands for Wire Plastic and Products.

The latest IRS survey done by Hansa Research in association with MRUC has gone beyond just readership of print publications to reclassify the socio economic classification or analysing the television audience. While TAM only covers the 1 million-plus cities, IRS has included the rural areas in its study.

As per IRS, in the last seven years, the number of television households has increased by 51 per cent. Out of which, 77 per cent growth has happened in rural areas, where as the urban areas has seen a 32 per cent growth. In 2005, the total number of television household in India is 83 million, out of which 41 million is in rural India and 42 million is in urban India.

The study reveals that since 1998, the number of C&S households has increased by 115 per cent. The total number of C&S households in the country stands at 43 million, out which 15 million homes are in rural India and the balance 28 million is in urban India. In comparison to the 1998 figures, the C&S market in rural areas has grown by 178 per cent, while the urban market has grown by 90 per cent.

The study also breaks some myths and indicates some interesting trends: While all mass channels focus mainly on the north and west Indian market, South India alone contributes to 47 per cent of the total C&S households The north and west zone contributes to 18 per cent and 23 per cent of the C&S households, respectively.

In between urban and rural India, the television households are in the ratio of 50:50, with 41.8 million total rural television households and 41.1 million urban households. However, in terms of C&S households, urban India has a major share with 27.9 million households. The total number of rural C&S households is 15.3 million.

The IRS study indicates that the prime time for rural India is between 7-9 pm, urban India's prime time extends to 11 pm.

IRS also did a survey on the basis of channels that viewers watched the previous day. As per this study, DD National got 19.5 per cent viewership, followed by STAR Plus at 6.9 per cent. Aaj Tak and Sony came in next with a viewership of 3.3 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. Interestingly, Sun TV has more viewership than ZEE TV. Some 3.9 per cent viewers said they watched Sun TV, while only 1.8 per cent voted for ZEE.

The number one C&S channel, STAR Plus may be behind DD National in the all India market, but in urban India, it is very close to DD National. In urban India (1 lakh-plus towns), 26.3 per cent voted for DD, while 25.1 per cent voted for STAR Plus.

In rural India, Sahara Manoranjan's viewership is closer to STAR Plus and equal to Sony and better than ZEE. Both Sony and Sahara Manoranjan got a viewership of 0.4 per cent in rural India, while STAR Plus and ZEE got a viewership of 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent, respectively.

Among the different television genres, any DD channel got a viewership of 20.7 per cent. In comparison, mass Hindi channels got a viewership of 8.5 per cent. Interestingly, regional C&S channels have got a higher percentage of viewership of 13.6 per cent. News channels performed better than the Hindi movie channels with a viewership share of 7 per cent.

In the genre of news channels, Aaj Tak is at par with DD News. Both Aaj Tak and Zee News got a 3.3 per cent vote, while ZEE News and STAR News got 0.7 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively.

Ten Sports leads the all India list of sports channels with a 0.8 per cent share, followed by 0.6 per cent of STAR Sports, and 0.5 per cent of ESPN. 2005 agencyfaqs!

First Published : May 02, 2005
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