The Readership Studies Council of India (RSCI), formed jointly by the Media Research Users Council (MRUC) and the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), has announced the launch of the world’s largest continuous survey of media usage, product consumption and ownership – Indian Readership Survey (IRS) for 2016.
The 2016 IRS data will be released by January next year, followed by regular quarterly updates. The survey increased its sample size by 40% at an ‘All India’ level, targeting a total of 3.3 lakh respondents, across 91 Individual Districts and 101 District Clusters.
IRS 2014 was the last survey round declared in the first quarter last year. Things came to a head soon after IRS 2013 was announced in January 2014 when 18 newspapers protested the credibility of the survey findings. They had said: “The survey is riddled with shocking anomalies, which defy logic and common sense. They also grossly contradict audited circulation figures (ABC) of long standing.”
Speaking on the launch of the IRS 2016, I Venkat, Chairman of MRUC, said, “The Indian Readership Survey is one of the most definitive surveys for print media; consumer demographic profiling and product consumption habits anywhere in the world. India is one of those unique markets where the print medium is growing consistently even though we are on the brink of a digital revolution. After consultations with all relevant stakeholders, we have finalized our research design and begun the field work. IRS is the only industry recognized readership and consumer profiling survey in the country and the team has worked hard to ensure it meets the high standards expected of it.”
To ensure reliability of IRS, the Technical Committee has enhanced the process of back-checks and included a third party auditor for monitoring the end-to-end process of survey design and quality control checks. The survey has also added numerous safety enhancement layers, powered by technology. Some of these include a tracker for GPS locations of interviewers, enhanced audio recording and electronically addressed forms.