Ipsos is to start a major field test of its mobile radio audience measurement system MediaCell.
The new service will work with current mobile phone handsets, listening for digital fingerprints by radio stations, logging which radio stations are being listened to by users.
Commercial radio stations in London and 200 people will be testing the service, which could one day replace the historic diary system currently used by RAJAR. The trial will last for a year, delivering listening data on a daily basis.
But although RAJAR is not involved with the project, the team there have been closely monitoring the development.
RAJAR’s research director, Paul Kennedy, said “RAJAR has maintained a watching brief since it set aside its own audiometer tests, and we will take a keen interest in this new trial”.
Richard Silman, global CEO of Ipsos MediaCT said “We have always been confident that electronic measurement is the future for radio. We also see the mobile phone as the ideal candidate for a measurement device. The power and sophistication of mobiles is increasing all the time, even for low-end devices, and we feel the time is right for a new form of audience measurement for radio. I am delighted that our investment in this area has advanced to the final stages of testing and look forward to our first commercial deployment.”