Commercial Radio Australia to pilot hybrid ratings methodology with smart watches and phones

Commercial Radio Australia will trial using both diary and electronic meters to measure radio audiences, the industry body announced this morning.

The global pilot will commence in the first half of 2019 and will involve participants in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth recording their radio listening on paper through the radio diaries and by through a smartwatch and phone app that can pick up ‘ambient radio’.

The ‘pilot’ will commence early next year

At the Radio Alive Conference in Melbourne, GfK managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Morten Boyer, said the pilot would allow the business to understand and quantify differences in listening recorded and across factors such as age, gender and time of listening.

But Boyer added the wearable meters and applications were not capable of measuring all radio listening due to technology limitations and compliance by those being surveyed.

“This rich dataset will feed in to the development of a hybrid measurement model that could incorporate the strengths of the diary system with the granularity offered by metering technology,” Boyer said.

“Australia is an ideal test market because it’s one of the strongest and most sophisticated radio markets in the world with high levels of technology use. There will be a lot of interest from other countries in the results of the study.”

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, said the initiative was the largest of its kind globally, and would help GfK worked towards a hybrid methodology for radio audience measurement. The survey is being conducted under the multi-million dollar Measurement Innovation Program announced last year.

“Listening is evolving and Australians are consuming radio in many ways, in many locations, across many different devices. We want to make sure we use all the tools at our disposal to get a holistic picture of radio listening,” Warner said.

“The current radio survey system is still the most accurate way to measure radio audiences, but if we can incorporate insights from electronic metering and streaming data to enhance this measurement, then we are keen to explore that.”

GfK has conducted Australian radio ratings surveys since 2014.


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