Ralph wants RAJAR to work

In a panel discussion at MediaTel's Group seminar on The Future Of Radio this week, Ralph Bernard, chief executive of GCap Media said he would love RAJAR to be more regular, more electronic and that he'd love it to work.

Although RAJAR has been trialling an electronic measurement system, most of the panelists thought that this would not be a sufficient solution unless it came with guarantees of enhanced robustness and more accurate results.

Howard Bareham, investment director of radio at MindShare, said that he was not sure whether the improvement in technology would bring more robust results, although he added that RAJAR has to keep developing as stations move onto different platforms.

However, Scott Taunton, managing director of UTV Radio, was fully in favour of using electronic measurement, saying that particularly in the case of smaller stations, it could provide results which fluctuate less from period to period. He also pointed out that the owners of RAJAR, the BBC and the RadioCentre, come at the data from different angles, with commercial radio using the figures to trade, so for them, fluctuations can be a real problem.

In response, Phil Riley, former chief executive of Chrysalis Radio, disagreed that there are different interests regarding RAJAR data, and also said that the use of electronic people meters would mean a smaller sample size, which could actually lead to more volatile results.

He added that the only way for small stations to get better data is if they spend five times as much on the survey.

Another concern for Taunton was the timeliness of the data, with months passing before stations such as talkSPORT can trade on listener figures, although Riley said that an overhaul of the RAJAR system was not the most critical subject facing the industry.

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