NEWS: Rajar plans hi-tech system to measure new radio stations

Rajar, the radio audience measurement body, is planning a revamp of its system in a bid to accommodate the increasing number of radio stations in the marketplace.

Rajar, the radio audience measurement body, is planning a revamp of its

system in a bid to accommodate the increasing number of radio stations

in the marketplace.



In a series of far-reaching proposals, Rajar has committed development

funds to investigate the possibility of introducing an electronic system

to replace the old paper diary method.



In addition, it is also looking at the viability of introducing a ‘two

tier’ measurement structure. The move follows consensus among agency and

advertiser speakers at a recent Admap conference that joint industry

committees such as Rajar cannot offer the same standard of reporting on

the growing number of stations. Instead, the delegates agreed, the

research should ensure that the largest stations have the highest level

of reporting.



Douglas McArthur, managing director of the Radio Advertising Bureau,

said: ‘The increase in the number of stations puts real strain on

audience measurement systems because they have to measure many more

broadcasters, often with small audiences.



‘This is not a position that is unique to radio - look at the similar

problems Barb has had with the addition of satellite measurement.’



The methodologies Rajar is considering are audio-matching techniques

currently being tested in the US and Switzerland.



Roger Gane, chief executive of Rajar, confirmed a search was underway to

find a workable electronic method, but added: ‘It will take time and

will have to be thought through in research and operational terms.’



He declined to comment on the two-tier plans.