Radio Ratings: GfK time for a change

Today marks the first release of the radio ratings by audience measurement company after 66 years of measurement by Nielsen.

Joan Warner, the CEO of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), told the Mumbrella Media Metrics Masterclass yesterday it was time for a change.

“There was a sense that radio wanted change,” she said in a panel discussion at Media Metrics yesterday. “If not the provider then the methodology.”

A robust tender process saw three audience measurement panels compete for the contract and GfK was selected for its updated system of recruiting people for the survey sample and additional measurement of audience behaviour.

GfK has installed a multimedia methodology that allows them to recruit 20 per cent of people participating in the survey online and allows them to record their listening habits in an online e-diary accessible via PC, tablet or mobile device.

The remaining 80 per cent are recruited by interviewers doorknocking and filling in a paper diary, however the plan is to increase the number of e-diary users in future.

Mark Neely, research director for GfK, said nearly 50 per cent of participants opted to use the e-diary in the first survey sample, compared with 30 per cent when Nielsen tested the waters in 2007.  

GfK has also armed its interviewers with online tablets that link directly to the GfK server so they can see the demographics they still need to fill while on the road, and they have been going out on evenings and weekends as well, to ensure they meet all their quotas to ensure a broad survey sample.

The sample size has not changed since the Nielsen survey, and there are more than 60,000 people surveyed in the five capital cities, the Gold Coast and Canberra over the year.

GfK has seven industry appointed radio audience measurement contracts in Europe, and it pioneered the introduction of e-diaries in the Netherlands. It also has has more than a decade of experience in online data capture, and has surveyed sales of technology such as digital radio and provides insight into what people are using.

In addition to the radio ratings, GfK will have four surveys a year analyzing audience behavior and Warner said CRA would like to open to discussions with advertising agencies on what behavior they would like to track.

The ratings will be released to the public at 10am.


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