As RAJAR continues to use dairy methods for collecting radio listening data, I-Quest are about to launch a new smart mobile phone capable of providing real-time listening figures direct to radio stations. The new technology uses an inaudible signal, which, once received, is then sent via GPRS to the data centre.
I-Quest have been developing a system for nearly 3 years that puts the inaudible signal into radio broadcasts. This process does not affect the phone in anyway or require any action by the phone owner, the phone is constantly listening all the time it is switched on.
The development has passed independent laboratory tests and is currently going through field testing both in the UK and the US. These tests are expected to continue into early 2007. As a further development of this system, I-Quest will soon be able to put an inaudible signal into any radio production, program or podcast for the individual radio stations to monitor and produce there own listening figures.
I-Quest intend to launch this service early 2007, initially to a limited number of radio stations. The service will be “end to end” said Chris Prier, Sales and Marketing Director for I-Quest Ltd. “We will be offering a complete package, which includes, installation of the encoders and the fail safe devices in the radio stations, with full 24 hour support, a number of smart mobile phone recipients on a panel, analysis and full reporting of the data from our own data centre” said CP.
The data can be delivered back to the radio station in many ways, but most importantly it can be delivered in “near real time” ie; while the program, production or podcast is on air. This gives the radio station invaluable information of the audience listening figures.
Similarly this technology can be used in adverts on radio. It soon will be possible to give radio ads there own unique inaudible code. When an advert is played on air, the smart phone will pick up that code and send it via GPRS to the datacentre, this information could then determine how many listeners are exposed to that advertisement. This information is most useful to ad agencies who could offer this as an “added value service” to their clients.
Kevin Mackay, Managing Director of I-Quest Ltd, said, “we believe the radio industry is now ready for a more sophisticated measurement system than it has had in the past. We also believe, that individual radio stations and groups need to have a there own listening figures as frequently as they require produced by a reliable well tested system, that is future proof”.