Nielsen, mandated with conducting the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), and the Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI), have announced that fieldwork for the new IRS will begin in May, and that findings from the first study will be released by December.
RSCI, formed by the coming together of Audit Bureau of Circulation and Media Research Users Council, had invited proposals from research companies worldwide last year to conduct the survey.
While the sample size has been maintained at 2.35 lakh households, a few changes that have been made to save time in the process of conducting interviews. The new IRS will benefit from the use of Computer Aided Personal Interviews (CAPI), moving ahead from pen and paper interviews of the past. The introduction of data fusion is another change - a few sections of the interview can be skipped once there is an indication of the profile of an individual or a household (which has been interviewed in the past). The new IRS will also have the technology to track down interviews via GPS to monitor the possibility of fudging.
Paritosh Joshi, chairman of the technical committee, MRUC, pointed out that a lot of media houses complained of the interviewers being fudged. Explaining the thought process behind having a digital tracking system, he said, “We’ve seen that at times interviewers get affected by fatigue, leading to misrepresentation of data. With the new tracking system, we will be able to eliminate those issues."
“While IRS will continue to give out data on media consumption and product usage, the entire process will be far more rigourous. IRS will be far more accurate. We hope that with all our efforts, we succeed in bringing out a gold standard metric in print readership - something which we had promised a year ago,” said RSCI chairperson Lynn de souza.
Prashant Singh, managing director - media, Nielsen India, added, “It’s been a very exciting journey working with MRUC on developing the new IRS. The new IRS will be far more robust as we’ve tried to address a few issues such as sampling errors, lack of an efficient tracking system and of course the computer aided interviews that will make a whole lot of difference.”
Officials did not comment on the pricing of the new IRS for subscribers.