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
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.