Radio surveys to return from next week, with modifications to take place in Melbourne

Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has confirmed radio ratings surveys will return next week, despite restrictions still in place for COVID-19.

But things will look different in Melbourne where lockdowns have forced changes to the placement of the diary system. Contingency plans have also been put in place to handle the process should more outbreaks occur.

Warner says everything is in place for the surveys to return

The survey period for Survey 6 will start on July 26 and runs through to September 19, with results to be released on September 29.

CRA CEO Joan Warner said everything had been secured to ensure the surveys could go ahead as planned.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation in regards to COVID-19, and there will be modifications to the placement of diaries in the Melbourne licence area to ensure the survey goes ahead as scheduled,” she said.

Research provider GfK has trialled and planned for contactless placement of paper survey diaries in Melbourne. In addition, the proportion of respondents completing an e-diary in that city will be increased from 30% to 40%.

A campaign has been running across commercial radio stations to raise awareness of the survey’s return ahead of fieldwork restarting.

“The ad informs listeners of the surveys process and reassures them that if they are contacted to participate, it will be done safely and within strict COVID-19 guidelines,” said Warner.

The official radio surveys were paused in April due to the pandemic, but a GfK Radio Pulse e-diary survey was released in June to keep the market informed about listening trends.

The radio industry experienced a rise in listeners during COVID-19 lockdown, but a similar drop in revenue to other industries. Advertising revenue for commercial radio stations across Australia’s metropolitan areas was down 46.62% for the June quarter, with stations bringing in just $114.104m, compared to $213.748 in the same period last year.


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