- How has IRS changed since inception?
IRS was launched in the year 1995 with an objective of setting an industry standard for readership & other media measurement, & to provide insights on media & product consumption as well as consumer behavior patterns. In the year 1995-96, 23 Metro Reports were released followed by the All India Report consisting of urban & rural data. Simultaneously a software programme was developed to not just enable the optimum use of raw data but to also carry out multi media planning which provided a common basis of media evaluation.
Over the years IRS has evolved to be the most progressive research covering a broad spectrum of categories from Media data, Indian Demographics, Indian Market, Product Profiles, to the recently developed Telecom Report, TV Report, & IRS Countryside. Apart from a range of products offered new changes have been introduced in the method of classification of sub regions from SCRís to ISDís, which is a more microscopic view of the consumer profile based on the socio & cultural ethnicity.
From a userís perspective, a few introductions in the form of participative sampling, customized queries have been introduced.
Sub Metro level reporting for a better understanding of the consumer behavior patterns across different zones in the Metros & Edition wise reporting is the other recent introduction.
- How is the Questionnaire administered?
The questionnaire is administered on the basis of the face-to-face interview with the selected respondent. Personnel who are specially qualified & trained for the purpose carry out this activity. The respondent is taken through the entire questionnaire & the responses are appropriately recorded and coded. This data is duly authenticated by the quality checks conducted during the fieldwork process.
- How is the report delivered?
The report is delivered on user-friendly software that permits the cross tabulation of various variables as required by the users of the data to meet their specific requirements. The software facilitates analysis of the readership, & consumption on an extensive basis. For Product categories the software also enables profiling of the Indian consumer on several parameters.
- How is the universe size ascertained?
The IRS data is weighted to the census universe. Since the Census is conducted every ten years, so the estimated population for any given date is calculated by using the growth rate in between two census points. This estimated population is then used as the base for weighting the data.
- How many cities/towns are covered in the IRS?
The IRS Survey covers nearly 70 cities, 1178 towns & 2894 villages with the coverage being reviewed before the start of every round.
- Is IRS only a readership survey?
IRS was conceptualized in the year 1995, with the predominant objective of conducting readership survey in India. This survey, the first of its kind in India captured the readership of different magazines & dailies. This provided the users with pertinent information useful for evaluating quantum & profile of readers. First priority was given to Readership studies with a difference. The need was perceived to establish through research the linkages between product/brand use and readership of various publications. Since inception IRS has been providing research data on consumption patterns of various product categories like FMCG’S, Durables, Financial products etc. Thus IRS is not restricted to survey of readership alone but is synonym with both readership & consumption across various categories of products through out India.
- What are the back check norms?
The Back checks are independent assessments conducted by the MRUC members to ensure data authenticity. The back checks are conducted within a fortnight from the day of interview. Essentially a part of the MRUC Quality Check, relevant findings are reviewed by the technical committee.
- What are the reporting norms & principles?
In IRS survey the reporting is done only for cities with a minimum sample pickup of 800. A publication, which has a low pickup in, a particular state but which meets the overall criteria of 30sample size will still be reported at All India Level though not at that state level. New publications included in the survey will get reported only on an annual sample, so in the ½ round they don’t get reported.
- What are the reporting units?
Each state covered in IRS is broken into three types of reporting units:
- Rest of Urban (Urban excluding metros)
Each reporting Unit is further broken down into multiple reporting units. The metros are classified into two town classes based on the population size as follows
Class I: Population of 40 lakh or above
Class II: Population in between 10 to 40 lakhs Other metros: There are some metros with a population below 10 lakhs but still they are reported separately.
The Rest of Urban is broken down into four town classes bases on the following population size:
Class III: Population in between 5 to 10 lakhs
Class IV: population in between 1 to 5 lakhs
Class V: Population in between 50,000 to 1 lakh
Class VI: Population below 50,000 Rural is divided into three village classes
Class VII: Population above 5000 Class VIII: Population in between 1000 to 5000
Class IX: Population less than 1000 Each of the reporting unit forms the basis for the projection of data.
- What are the Sampling techniques?
The IRS survey is based on a multi-stage stratified random sampling procedure for a better representation of the population strata.
Primarily the whole country is classified into different zones North, East, West and South. In each zone different states are listed according to their position in the country.
Primary Stratification – All states are included for the survey sampling. (With exceptions, some of the states will be excluded, like states of North East & Jammu Kashmir.
The existing states and their reporting levels are considered while deciding the sample frame. However new states that are formed out of the existing ones (Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh and Uttaranchal) are also duly represented for reporting.
Secondary Stratification- the classified states are then reclassified into sub regions & smallest reporting units on the basis of homogeneity in the socio cultural factors.
- What are various uses for the IRS data?
Keeping in view the industry’s increasing needs for more focused information for market & media-planning IRS offers a range of product categories. IRS Media gives the reach of Press, TV, Radio, Cinema, Internet & also non conventional media which is critical for media planning in the context of ever changing & complex media environment The report now encompasses over 340 publications, nearly 200 TV Channels, & detailed information on Radio (with special emphasis on FM), internet & cinema with new information areas being added in every round. The Demographic Report enables an in-depth understanding of the demographic & geographic profile of the Indian Consumer, critical for defining the target consumer at the All India, State and urban/rural level. Indian Market report enables understanding of the category wise penetration for the entire range of product categories. The Product Profile report enables segmentation & profiling of both users & non-users for a more focused marketing approach. In addition IRS report comes in user-friendly software that facilitates cross tabulation of data, to meet the specific needs of the users.
- What is the criterion for publication inclusion?
Any publication proposed to be included in the IRS should ideally have an all India circulation of 5000 and above for two consecutive audit periods. ABC is published every six months. In case the publication is not covered in the ABC, the Auditors Certificate is used for circulation estimates. In determining the coverage plan of the publication, any publication with a circulation above 5000 can be included in all states where it has a circulation of 500 or above.
- What is the Fieldwork period?
The IRS fieldwork is conducted in two rounds from July’ to November and from January to May of each calendar year totaling to period of 10 months annually. Intense data validation is done during the intermittent period prior to the release of the data.
- What is the MRUC Secretariat's role?
MRUC was established in the Year 1995 with the core objective of determining the needs & frequencies of research/ surveys for assessment of various media for advertising. Over the Years MRUC in partnership with its research agency has conducted surveys on readership & consumption, and has lately ventured into tracking listenership to study the effectiveness of this medium of delivery. Apart from the role of a facilitator, MRUC has maintained & propagated the highest standards of integrity, fairness & reliability in the dissemination of the research output. The Council’s committees include stalwarts who represent the various categories chiefly advertisers, advertising agencies, publishers & broadcasters who contribute to the research methodology by their active participation.
- What is the reporting period?
The IRS data is made available in two rounds of 6 months each. There will be a balancing of sample between both the rounds.
Urban: Since all towns with population above 1 Lac is sampled the sample size allocated for these towns is split between two rounds so that these towns gets covered in both the rounds.
Rural: Within each selected district two talukas are selected randomly. Each of these talukas has exactly the same sample size by village class and sample number of selected villages. One taluka gets covered in the ½ round and the other will be covered in the full round.
- What is the Sample Size?
The IRS is a syndicated study based on a comprehensive sample size of 2,14,486 with a geographic spread of nearly 70 cities, 1178 towns & 2894 villages. The Sample size is determined before the start of the fieldwork period. The random sample size is distributed across all metro towns, rest of urban & rural using an appropriate method that ensures adequate sample representation across all the population strata. Each the classified state is further grouped & regrouped into the smallest reporting units called ISD’s with an adequate sample size. In addition boosters are included in the IRS Sample to ensure adequate representation of the SECA population in the metro towns.
- What product categories are covered in IRS?
IRS product offerings include: Demographic report, IRS Media, Indian Market, Product Profile, & Telecom report. The FMCG package covers over 53 products including household products; food & beverages; personal products & baby care products. Consumer Durables package covers nearly 30 categories including premium products.
- Which agency has conducted the research?
MRUC has been conducting several research studies under the banner of IRS in the years from 1995 through 2002 in partnership with several research agencies.
In the year 2003, the Council entered into partnership with Hansa Research Group, headed by Mr. Ashok Das who conceptualized the IRS Methodology in 1997. The principal business of HRG is to conduct market research as a commercial activity with the core objective of ensuring high quality research at rationalized costs. The deliverables from HRG includes conceptualization of research methodology, fieldwork, data processing & validation, reports' generation, software development, education & promotion of data usage and allied client servicing activities.
- Why are publishers not a part of the Technical Committee?
The technical committee for IRS is a neutral body involved in all the aspects of the research methodology. In tune with the council’s objective of maintaining high ethical standards & levels of integrity, the council’s mandate is that the beneficiaries shall not be involved in the technical aspects of the research.
- Why is IRS released after 2 months of fieldwork?
After the completion of field work the data collected is processed. Intense validations are carried out both by internal & external validators to substantiate the findings of the research. If there is an ambiguity in the findings the data gets suppressed. This activity is covered during the intermittent period between two rounds of fieldwork.