Rajar looks to digital to improve measurement

Radio audience profiler Rajar is extending its research methods to include more digital tools to more accurately measure listeners across all platforms.

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From July, the industry body is to use a series of tools including an online radio listening diary and a digital personal interviewing aide.

The move is part of Rajar’s strategy to keep abreast of people’s listening habits across online and mobile devices and DAB radio, while improving its demographic representation.

Traditionally, it has relied solely on a pen-and-paper diary system, which hundreds of thousands of people are asked to fill out manually, listing which stations they listen to and when each week. From next month it will roll out online, initially on PCs, and will be adapted to smartphones and tablets in the coming months.

Rajar CEO Jerry Hill said the aim is to ensure the body keeps in step with how the radio industry is evolving.

“The use of digital technology has become so prevalent across all demographics that we can now make these changes,” he said. “Adding to our toolbox to provide enhanced information is not only progressive for the industry but also beneficial in offering something easy and compelling for the consumers who provide our data.”

Andrew Harrison, CEO of industry body RadioCentre, said the move is vital for commercial radio. “The accurate recording of listening figures is crucial to commercial radio, which relies on this to help generate its revenue, so these improvements are a welcome addition to Rajar’s robust survey,” he said.

Rajar is also working with online radio aggregator Radioplayer to help it translate its listening figures into a common metric. Last week Radioplayer, the joint venture between the BBC and commercial radio stations including Absolute and Global Radio, reported 5.7m listeners for May.

Rajar worked with its development partner YouGov on the online diary prototype.

This story first appeared on New Media Age. For more digital stories and analysis’ from NMA click here now

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