Radio Tarana has created broadcasting history by recording a 55% increase in its listenership to become one of the top 10 radio stations in the greater Auckland region.
A Research International survey, conducted between February 14 and March 17, 2009, said that the Indian radio station had a listener base of 66,400, up from 44,100 listeners recorded during the previous survey.
This represented an increase of 26,300 listeners, stated to be a record for any radio station in New Zealand between two survey periods.
The new rating placed Radio Tarana on a par with the mainstream radio stations in the metropolitan Auckland region. The station registered 4.7% share, beating Radio Hauraki (4.4%), More FM (4.1%), Radio Live and Radio Sport (2.6% each) and Solid Gold FM (1.7%).
Tarana is the only ethnic station in New Zealand to be ranked among the top 10.
Research International Australia and New Zealand is a part of an international group with more than 70 years of experience in the region.
Apart from listenership surveys, it provides contemporary custom research solutions for its clients around innovation, market strategy, brand health and service management issues.
The firm uses ‘personally placed and collected diary-based method’ to obtain the information required for all its official radio audience measurement surveys.
“This methodology has been shown to be the best available, thus ensuring the accurate measurement of radio audiences,” a communiqué said.
It is understood that personal radio diaries are placed with a different sample of respondents each week during the survey.
The diaries are used by respondents to keep an accurate record of their radio listening for seven consecutive days. “By ‘listening’ we mean that respondents are able to hear the spoken announcements being broadcast, and so identify the station broadcasting.
“The format of the diary used by Research International breaks down each day into quarter-hour time periods.
“Respondents were asked to indicate their radio listening in any quarter hour period where they have listened for eight minutes or more of that quarter hour.”
The findings of this study were based on an overall sample of 3299 people aged ten years and over, resident in the survey area.
Statistics New Zealand said there were 1,031,200 people in the age group (in the survey area) as at March 2006.
The survey covered 160 different areas, determined in proportion to population.
Established 13 years ago, Radio Tarana 1386 AM is a 24-hour, free-to-air radio station broadcasting news on the hour, current affairs, sports, talkback and music.
The station is the exclusive provider of BBC Hindi, Urdu Fiji News in New Zealand.
Radio Tarana managing director Robert Khan said the survey results were stunning.
“I am overwhelmed with the ratings and pleased with our performance.
“As well as a continuous and remarkable increase in our listenership, it is gratifying that an ethnic radio station is competing with mainstream broadcasters,” he said.
Mr Khan said the radio station caters to a diverse mix of listeners of people of Indian origin including India, Fiji, UK, South Africa and other parts of the world, ethnic groups comprising Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Nepalese and people from the Middle East.
“Such a mix places us in a unique and challenging position to offer variety and innovative programmes,” he said.
The station’s business development and international alliances head Krishna Sharma said the survey affirmed that Tarana was in the right direction on its growth path.
“Such an impressive and large increase in listenership demonstrates that we are with the community, delivering what the people want; that in essence is the basis of our operations,” he said.
Mr Sharma said strategies national and international alliances were significant not only to deliver high standards of products and services but also to achieve customer satisfaction.”
“Radio Tarana is a regular sponsor and participant in major international cultural, film and sporting events held in New Zealand and overseas and there are many more under consideration,” he said, without giving details.
Mr Khan said quality is a byword at the radio station.
“It is a matter of pride and gratification that our programmes, programmers and presenters spell quality in every aspect.
“Our team works together as a family, devoid of who or from where they are. Such a feeling of amity enables them to cater to a growing and diverse audience,” he said.