Commercial Radio Australia – the industry body representing Australia's commercial radio broadcasters – has teamed up with Nielsen Media Research to develop an enhanced ratings system to reflect changes in audience listening habits.
While remaining diary based, the ratings system will change from ‘household flooding’ (one diary for each member of a household) to ‘single person placement’ (one diary given to one person in the household). Commercial Radio Australia’s CEO Joan Warner explained that this will allow for much closer management of diary keepers and of demographic groups within the survey. From 2009, it may also be possible to complete the diary online, once results of a trial to be conducted later this year have been assessed.
‘These enhancements should make completing the survey diary easier by providing people with even better training and greater choice in how they fill it out,’ said Warner. ‘People taking the radio survey diary will now be the only household member receiving a diary and will receive direct comprehensive training which means better control of the process, demographics and potentially improved outcomes from the collection of data.’
Warner also claims that the planned introduction of sticker diaries – using pre-printed stickers instead of pre-printed diaries – will provide greater flexibility for those completing the surveys. In addition, 24-hour measurement will be introduced (previously the midnight to dawn timeslot was only surveyed once a year).
A technical trial of the Nielsen Media Research IMMI Phone Meter is currently underway in Australia, with further tests of other devices planned. ‘While the diary system remains the only proven and reliable ratings method used around the world at present, the Australian radio industry has an open mind on electronic measurement,’ added Warner.
The ratings will be conducted eight times a year in five metropolitan markets, as well as three regional markets.
Web sites are www.commercialradio.com.au