Media agencies kept waiting for new radio data after technical hitch

- Media buyers will have to wait at least another month before being able to use and see Rajar's new methodology due to a technical hitch.

- Media buyers will have to wait at least another month before being able to use and see Rajar's new methodology due to a technical hitch.

The first figures using the new method were due out on 6 May but will not be available until 10 June, a Rajar spokeswoman announced this week. "There is a small executional detail surrounding same-named stations," she said.

The problem arose when Rajar fieldworkers failed to put all stations that share the same name into a respondent's diary, thereby giving an inaccurate portrait of the weekly listening habits of Rajar's 3000 respondents.

The figures are now undergoing a process known as 'ascription' which will ensure the figures are correct and robust when they are finally released, said the spokeswoman.

The three major changes to the way in which data is collected and then collated by Rajar have met with the full approval of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, the Commercial Radio Companies Association and the BBC.

Respondents will be given individual diaries rather than have to share them with other people in the household; the diaries have also been simplified and modified to accommodate new stations once digital radio goes live; and the quarterly listenership bulletins will now refer to annual performance rather then merely to that of the last three months.

Rachelle Fox, research and communications manager at the CRCA, said the new figures will more accurately reflect listeners' habits and cannot be compared with the existing methodology. Explaining the decision to delay the launch she said: "We live in an age of transparency and if there's the slightest reason why we might be considered opaque then the figures will be treated with suspicion."


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