GfK to suspend radio ratings after next survey due to COVID-19

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Australian radio ratings are officially on ice, Radio Today can reveal.

Commercial Radio Australia will suspend the radio ratings after the next metro survey due to “tightening Government travel restrictions”.

Survey 2 results will be released as scheduled on April 16, but Surveys 3, 4 and 5 will be put on hold due to restrictions related to COVID-19.

Chief executive officer Joan Warner said CRA had carefully considered the options in consultation with GfK, and concluded that a pause in fieldwork and surveys was necessary.

“While metropolitan Survey 2 fieldwork has been successfully completed, it will become increasingly difficult over the next few months to continue with the surveys and maintain the integrity of the results, due to tightening Government travel restrictions and concerns for the health and safety of the field force and the community,” said Warner said.

“This is an unpredictable situation and we will continue to monitor conditions with a view to recommencing surveys as soon as practical later in 2020.”

ALSO READ: CRA’s Joan Warner on radio’s state of play during COVID-19 outbreak

The rigorous ratings process requires GfK to survey 70,000 people each year with interviewers in the field ensuring a large representative sample of respondents.

Results for Survey 1 in Canberra, Gold Coast and Newcastle will be released on April 29, April 30 and May 15 respectively, but following surveys will also be put on hold.

CRA has also asked GfK to expedite work on the major hybrid measurement project.

GfK managing director, ANZ, Dr Morten Boyer said: “The health and safety of all our staff and the community is our highest priority and we will continue our Measurement Innovation Program with the industry in the meantime.”

CRA plans to provide topline information on radio listening through a number of sources during the interim period, including a GfK study already underway listening trends during the COVID-19 crisis, its popular RadioApp and other streaming data, surveys, and the Podcast Ranker.

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3 Apr 2020 - 3:38 pm

Just do mobile/phone survey…

3 Apr 2020 - 3:41 pm

Definitely due to health concerns. The health of car listening numbers.

3 Apr 2020 - 5:02 pm

Gees , can’t wait to tune into Neil Mitchell on Monday to hear if he bleats about this then go back and listen to Inner FM

Ha Ha
4 Apr 2020 - 7:50 am

Ha – I think if you ask most of the networks in Aus, streaming and app numbers are going surprisingly well. Radio can play an important part in people’s moods right now. More than ever they need company.

Scott Thomson
5 Apr 2020 - 8:57 am

A absolutely ridiculous decision

The huge increase in radio listening will be the best news the industry has had in years.

Reality Check
5 Apr 2020 - 3:16 pm

I don’t want to complain because I’m still employed and thankful for that but why do people think a 10% rise in people listening to the app (from a very low base) makes up for the 95% of people not driving to work or taking the kids to school and thus not listening to breakfast and drive shows?

Do they think when people are sitting at home with a TV and the internet they’re going to listen to FM radio for vital information?

I don’t know if this is spin or ignorance but people who think we’re booming might need a bit of reality check.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but it’s really hard to believe some of the headlines coming CRA and some of the networks.

7 Apr 2020 - 7:00 am

Looks like a cost saving. Networks will save millions. Radio has again shot itself in the foot. No listening data for 6 months how stupid. False saving.


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