CRA announces new GfK ratings measurement trial using electronic watches

Former Assistant Editor

A new initiative from Commercial Radio Australia will see Australian metro radio ratings measured using electronic watches and a smart phone app in 2019.

CRA confirmed today at Melbourne’s Radio Alive Conference that a trial of the world-first super pilot will occur in the first half of next year.

The trial will be conducted by current ratings providers GfK, who have overseen the ratings measurement process since 2014.

The new hybrid measurement system will require participants to wear a special watch (with an electronic meter contained within) and download a smart phone app which picks up ambient radio.

These new measurement tools will be used in combination with the current diary system.

CRA chief executive Joan Warner explained at the conference today that the new initiative would be the largest scale radio audience measurement pilot study using diary and electronic monitoring ever undertaken in the world.

“Listening is evolving and Australians are consuming radio in many ways, in many locations, across many different devices,” Warner said.

“We want to make sure we use all the tools at our disposal to get a holistic picture of radio listening.

“The current radio survey system is still the most accurate way to measure radio audiences, but if we can incorporate insights from electronic metering and streaming data to enhance this measurement, then we are keen to explore that.

“The super pilot will allow us to investigate how data from different measurement techniques can be used together to develop a world first hybrid methodology for radio audience measurement.”

GfK managing director Dr. Morten Boyer also spoke at the Radio Alive conference today, and revealed that the new measurement trial would be conducted in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

“The pilot will allow us to better understand and quantify the differences in listening recorded across the different measurement techniques, and across various factors such as age, gender and time of listening,” he said.

“This rich dataset will feed in to the development of a hybrid measurement model that could incorporate the strengths of the diary system with the granularity offered by metering technology.

“Australia is an ideal test market because it’s one of the strongest and most sophisticated radio markets in the world with high levels of technology use. There will be a lot of interest from other countries in the results of the study.”

Dr Boyer admitted the new wearable meters and apps wouldn’t be able all radio listening due to limiting factors including human compliance, with a mini pilot completed last month revealing that “lost listening” resulted from participants not always wearing the watch or not always having their phone in close proximity.

The wearable devices also cannot yet capture listening through headphones.

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Survey Says
19 Oct 2018 - 3:11 pm

A great step! Looking forward to it.

Watch Out
19 Oct 2018 - 4:15 pm

PPMs ruined the radio industry in the US. It will do the same for Australia if not implemented appropriately


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