Advertisers will have access to even more accurate radio data
following Rajar’s decision to adjust the way audiences are measured.
Under the old system, only national and London-based radio station
audiences were measured quarterly, while regional stations were only
measured twice a year or, in some cases, on an annual basis.
The adjustment means that all stations will be measured on a quarterly
basis from January 1999.
Other changes have been made to ensure reliable audience measurement is
available in an increasingly complex radio market.
For example, the current measurement system uses a pre-printed diary
listing times of day and stations. Each member of a sample household is
asked to fill in their different listening habits. The new system means
one person per household will fill in an individually customised
Robert Ray, joint managing director of MediaVest, said: ’This will make
it more straightforward to plan a campaign. There was a view that the
present system was under-quoting or being inconsistent. This way makes
the figures more realistic.’
The new system for audience research will be conducted by research
company IPSOS-RSL. It holds the current Rajar contract, which has just
been extended for another four years.
Separately, speaking at the Commercial Radio Contractors Association
lunch last week, Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and
Sport, said the government was sympathetic to the argument that radio
advertising should be seen as part of the wider advertising market,
rather than an individual market in its own right.