All entities that are into radio audience measurement should be registered under the Companies Act and have a minimum net worth of Rs 5 crore, according to Broadcasting sector regulator TRAI which has released its recommendations in this regard.
The recommendations, which aim to create a regulatory framework for entities that are into radio audience measurements and ratings, also suggest that the guidelines for rating system be notified by Information and Broadcasting Ministry.
The recommendations also hold that any agency meeting the eligibility conditions can apply and get registered with I&B Ministry for doing the rating work and no cap on number of rating agencies has been prescribed.
In a statement issued today, TRAI said audience measurement is essential since advertising is the sole source of revenue for FM radio operators and the advertisement revenue of the radio broadcasting sector is directly linked to listenership of a radio channels.
It also added that the number of people listening to radio is expected to grow further after completion of Phase-III of the FM radio expansion activity.
“The present system of radio ratings in India appears to have certain deficiencies that have been highlighted by stakeholders at various forums. Continuance with an inadequate radio rating system is likely to hamper the growth of radio industry as financial decisions are largely influenced by radio ratings,” TRAI said.
Therefore, a need was felt to prescribe a transparent, credible and acceptable framework for the radio audience measurement, it added.
TRAI also said it has adopted a “light touch” approach and recommended a regulatory 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.