Electronic ratings not enough
AudioNET Founder and CEO Dave Cox started working in radio over 25 years ago at 2CA in Canberra.
Radio’s delivering too little too late…
In the era of digital radio and smart phones, tablets, twitter and Facebook, where we communicate by connecting, the Australian radio industry has missed the window for electronic ratings.
Mass numbers are now virtually irrelevant to marketers – so by the time electronic ratings for radio finally arrive, they'll already be redundant.
Marketers now need to know more about their customers as individuals. Now we're in the thick of the i-generation, marketers need to know all about Me. Me. Me.
The reason online advertising is earning $2.6b a year in Australia and growing, is that every click tells a story. Click by click, online advertising helps marketers learn about their customers as individuals.
Some radio networks have already recognised this need, and have websites and/or mobile phone apps and are collecting data from listeners.
But it's not independent and it's not necessarily objective. And the clicks are not always related to what's happening on the air.
Let’s consider the official, independent ratings for a moment. Apart from the obvious flaws such as the latency of the data and the subjectivity of people 'remembering' what they listened to, ratings diaries invite ridicule from our key stakeholders.
What do radio listeners think when they put down their smartphone or tablet, find a pen, then flick through pages in a book, to write down what radio they listened to last week?
In fact, poor audience data has done so much damage to radio for so long, electronic ratings won't do enough to rejuvenate revenue or reputation.
To recover, the next Australian radio research methodology will have to outperform current online data collection and set a new benchmark for broadcast audience measurement.
If not, it will merely be too little, too late.