The first listening figures since data collection was suspended in March 2020 have been delivered to radio stations across the UK by RAJAR.
The new stats use an enhanced methodology designed to equip stations with more robust insights into their audience.
This means the usual yearly and quarterly comparisons cannot be provided by RAJAR until the data set has been able to fully repopulate over the necessary time period.
Today’s results will include an extended Q3 sampling period and see the existing survey design adapted to broaden its data gathering sources with the inclusion of panellists and MediaCell technology for the first time, alongside face-to-face recruited respondents; capturing listening from both diaries and mobile devices.
The mobile app – called ‘MediaCell’ – is proprietary passive technology owned by Ipsos MORI which runs as an Application on a smartphone. It identifies listening to radio stations by Audio Content Recognition (ACR) techniques.
Whilst stations now have the data, information will not be published till after midnight.
Jerry Hill, Chief Executive of RAJAR said: “As with many sectors, we have faced an unprecedented set of challenges during the pandemic. The team at RAJAR with the enormous support of our research partners Ipsos and RSMB, have developed a flexible design that both strengthens the service both now and for its future evolution.”
Nick North, Director of Audiences, BBC said: “Coming out of such a difficult period RAJAR has acted with speed and innovative flair without compromising the rigour and quality of its service, to produce a new, best in class industry currency incorporating the electronic measurement of listening. It’s a huge leap forward, and credit to the RAJAR executive, to Ipsos and RSMB for making it happen.”
Ian Moss, CEO Radiocentre said: “The return of new RAJAR audience data following the Coviddriven hiatus is welcome news. The evolution in methodology is a good thing for the future of the industry, whilst helping to insure against future interruptions to data collection.”
Belinda Beeftink, Research Director, IPA said: “The pandemic has required RAJAR to be quick and agile in delivering an adapted measurement approach whilst preserving the stability and robustness of the data. This is a way forward which will serve audio measurement well going forward.”
Steve Chester, Director of media, ISBA said: “RAJAR has risen to the significant challenge that the COVID pandemic has presented to industry currencies and used it as an opportunity to evolve and enhance the already highly trusted, accountable and robust measurement of audio listening that RAJAR delivered, to a future facing model. ISBA and its members look forward to this new chapter of audio measurement.”