New ratings system trialled

New ratings system trialled

Posted January 31st, 2012 by debritz

Commercial Radio Australia has announced changes to the way radio ratings will be gathered and compiled this year.

According to a CAR media release, "The radio industry will start a trial of online data collection for the radio ratings, closely followed by the introduction of a world-first application for tablets and mobile phones, which will allow people to input their listening habits via these devices."

The release said the "innovative approaches" were implemented as a result of recommendations put forward by the its research committee which "has been investigating best practice for listenership audience measurement in a changing digital environment".

“Australian radio has one of the most robust listenership measurement systems in the world but that doesn’t stop us investigating ways to improve it further,” CRA chief executive Joan Warner said. “It also should be remembered that one of radio’s major strengths, its mobility and reach into all situations, conversely provides one of the major challenges for radio audience measurement.”

“Research company, Ipsos, will commence a trial of online data collection in March which will be a supplementary measure to the existing diary system, This will be followed by a world first development of an m.site/application which will allow people to fill in ratings information on tablet devices and mobile phones, which the industry believes will be a unique step forward and one that we are sure will be welcomed by the advertising industry.”

Ms Warner said the first phase of online data collection would begin in Sydney, with a group of 300 people able to enter their radio listening habits online.

The CRA release said the current tender for the radio ratings, held by Neilsen, would expire at the end of next year, and tenders would be called later this year for 2014, "with proposals for online and mobile applications to supplement the paper diaries, to be part of the process".

Comment: I have long said Australia needs a new means of compiling radio ratings. Perhaps this a step in the right direction but it appears to be flawed because it still requires people to fill in their own data. Only when technology can passively record exactly what people are listening to* -- rather than what they say they are or were listening to -- and the survey includes all their listening options -- including community stations and others not currently included in the survey -- can it truly claim any accuracy and authority. This is what advertisers should be pushing for. BD

* In her release, Ms Warner noted that CRA was monitoring developments in this field but "no other electronic device has proved to be reliable enough in terms of data collection to warrant further testing".