NZ it’s not “All Black and White”?

Staff Writer

It’s safe to say the New Zealand Radio market has been turned on its head just a little with the surprise announcement on Friday that NZME is commissioning its own fully funded radio audience research.

To some it’s seen as “ballsy move”. NZME will have to commit big dollars to cover the cost of delivering radio audience results by May when there is no official survey slated, and nobody else to share the cost with. “Clients’ Needs” being the stated driver behind the NZME decision.

They have chosen to use TNS, the same provider that the sector has used for 20 years, but at the same time will introduce what is now considered world’s best practice in using mixed methodology including an on-line sample with e-diaries. Something you see in markets like Australia and the UK.

Over in Ponsonby, whilst they are not involved in the survey, MediaWorks have a decent market share to defend, based on the last survey round in 2014 and are likely to want to have a good showing.

Rachel Lorimer, Group Head of Corporate Communications for MediaWorks told Radio Today  that  “The ‘survey’ announced… is a piece of research commissioned by NZME and does not involve the wider radio industry.  As such it will have limited value to advertisers.”

She went on to say:

“International experts Peter Don and David Kidd have consulted with MediaWorks, NZME, Radio NZ, the independent radio stations, and The Radio Broadcasters Association, and recently delivered an outstanding report.    It will be presented to the radio industry shortly, and recommends audience measurement for 40 weeks of the year with nationwide reach and more accurate capture of information.”

However NZME insiders have said that they were not consulted and don't know anything about this report commissioned by MediaWorks.

Managing Director of NZME Radio, Dean Buchanan spoke with Radio Today and commented: “I’m not going to buy into the pettiness, tit for tat of other broadcasters, this actually about what is right for advertisers who spend their hard earn money with our medium and the good of the wider industry”.

“We are absolutely committed to working with the industry, full stop.”

The Radio Broadcasting Association is New Zealand’s peak industry body, headed by chief executive Bill Francis.  Asked by New Zealand Industry website Stop Press about NZME’s moves, Francis said “the decision to run the survey was made independently by NZME, and said that he was not in a position to comment on it”.

He went onto say: "The RBA will continue to work with the industry to find the most robust methodologies to ensure the industry remains strong in the future”.

Whichever way it pans out, NZME has rolled the dice and it will be interesting to see where the dominoes fall in the major markets of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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