Radio industry to get electronic measurement by 2006

LONDON - Electronic audience measurement for radio is likely to be adopted as the industry standard by 2006, according to a new report.

The report, from researchers at Panmure Gordon, suggests that the use of electronic measurement is "inevitable within a two-year timeframe".

It cites the growth of digital radio and demand from advertisers and media buyers for a more accurate system as drivers for the change.

The report follows recent criticism of the Rajar diary measurement system from radio companies such as Virgin Radio. Rajar is currently consulting the industry before deciding on a way forward.

However, Panmure Gordon suggested that the short-term effect of the move to electronic measurement could be negative. It argues that current electronic data from Gfk shows average listening time reduced. This could lead to a lowering of radio's share of total advertising as advertisers could achieve the same impact by buying fewer spots.

But the report suggests that longer term the move will be beneficial because it will provide the opportunity to precisely target audiences and monetise digital channels.

Chrysalis, which owns Heart FM and LBC, and Wireless Group, owner of TalkSport, would be the main beneficiaries of the change, said the report.

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