NEW DELHI: More than 64% of people in India listen to FM radio every day, according to a new study which also highlights the medium's effectiveness at driving recall.

The Radio Listener's Research Report, from AZ Research, was based on a survey of 45,000 respondents comprising of SEC A/B/C consumers between the age group of 14-50 years and covering key cities like Ahmedabad, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Jaipur, Lucknow and Bangalore.

It attributed the increased acceptance of FM radio to the ease of access. That is in part due to the increased penetration of mobile phones across the country. These devices are now the primary access point for radio listening, used by 71% of listeners compared to 53% who use traditional radio sets; 21% listen via the web.

As well as offering significant reach for advertisers, FM radio also demonstrated significantly better recall compared to television, the report said. Radio produced a 43% correct recall rate, while television managed just 22%.

Regular listeners could remember elements like name of the program, the name of the presenter, the main sponsors of the program and the contests run on the channel.

"This clearly shows that FM Radio is a very high involvement category, much more so in comparison to television and print," the report said.

Despite that, it is often underrated, according to Sujay Misra, managing director of AZ Research. But he was confident that marketers were slowly "realising its potential" and would "not only increase the spend on radio but also pave the way to more focused brand-building campaigns".

Interestingly, the research indicated that, contrary to popular belief, radio is not the preserve of SEC C consumers.

In fact, only 51% of this classification listened to radio daily, compared to 72% of those in SEC groups A and B.

And more than 71% of listeners preferred to listen to the same channel at the same time each day – indicating a high degree of loyalty; just 16% of respondents flipped channels.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff