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News 13 Sep 2021 - 2 min read

Radio industry green lights hybrid measurement system, starts to shred paper diaries

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

Commercial Radio Australia is to adopt a new hybrid linear and digital ratings model, ditching paper diaries and adopting digital 'listening' devices and diaries.  

What you need to know:

  • Commercial Radio Australia is overhauling its measurement of linear and digital radio, adopting a hybrid model.
  • The industry will transition from paper surveys to majority use of e-diaries with integrated live streaming data.
  • A panel of 2,000 consumers will also be asked to wear an electronic watch meter, similar to the system in markets such as the US.

Australian metropolitan radio ratings are finally being digitised. The industry is to adopt a hybrid system that largely bins the old paper system in favour of e-diaries and devices that capture live streaming.

A panel of 2,000 consumers will don electronic watch meters that detect when the wearer is in the listening range of a radio broadcast, similar to the system used in the US.

Per Commercial Radio Australia, the new measurement system will also help make podcast download numbers more accurate – and CRA will now publish numbers rather than just rank podcasts in terms of popularity.

CRA's current measurement provider, GfK will roll out the new system in stages commencing before the year end. Integration of streaming audiences will commence early in 2022.

Panels of 400 consumers in each of the five metro markets will be asked to wear watch meters to calibrate, validate and ensure de-duplicated streaming data.

Streaming data will then be integrated with broadcast audience data and be made available as part of regular ratings reports. 

The proportion of survey respondents using an e-diary will be steadily increased from Survey 6, 2021, making the system more resilient to disruptions while maintaining the annual sample size at 60,000.

"By putting the right technology and methodology in place, we are ensuring that we are able to do justice to the full scale and opportunity of our audience in the eyes of advertisers, now and into the future," said CRA CEO Joan Warner.

Mi3 Special Report: Australia's looming $1bn retailer media market

  • Australia's retailers are gearing up to become major media channels.
  • US retailers are already displacing 'legacy' publishers.
  • All retailers are eyeing media, not just supermarkets and FMCG.
  • Mi3 supported by Resolution Digital have produced a 28-page report with cross-industry views on what you need to know.

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