Is RAJAR robust enough?

Oct 2018  RadioWorks Blog

Clue: The answer is yes!

Over the years we have heard how the radio audience measurement system is “fatally flawed”, relying on an “out of date” method of getting listeners to fill in diaries. The debate has been going on for a number of years, with different measurement options thrown into the mix along the way, but at RadioWorks we believe that RAJAR is still a robust measurement system.

The team at Ipsos Mori/RAJAR do a great job generating the most reliable data they can, with respondents recruited on a face to face basis by a dedicated team, ensuring that the sample of respondents is representative of the UK population. In a heavily tech-reliant world, the RAJAR survey is not reliant on specific hardware – but based on an adult’s active recording of what they listen to and on what devices. As the radio medium has evolved over the years, so has the RAJAR survey. There is on-going development behind the scenes from team RAJAR, who are constantly geared to maximizing accuracy, accountability and the quality of data. With the abundance of digital radio stations now available and even more ways to listen, there is a demand for measuring not just who is listening to what station, but how they are listening– online/apps, DTV set top receivers, and DAB Digital Radio as well as traditional analogue radio (AM/FM).

In 2011, the survey was updated so that it could be completed online, and RAJAR then updated this further in 2016 by creating a mobile diary app, so that participants could complete the diary by smartphone or tablet. The introduction of the online diary has enabled us to get more information than before as RAJAR can now re-contact previous participants cost effectively. In 2013, RAJAR released their MIDAS (Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services) study, which looks into emerging listening behaviour and provides us with more understanding every quarter about new listening devices and capabilities as they emerge, by looking at things such as podcasting, listen again and on demand music services, as well as live radio.

It is inevitable that the UK radio industry will eventually incorporate some form of electronic measurement, but that won’t happen just yet as the RAJAR team will want to get a system that is as inclusive and as affordable as what they currently have. For those of us in commercial radio, RAJAR is a measurement service; it essentially provides a trading currency that advertisers and agencies can rely on. It’s an industry standard that tells us who has been listening to what over the last few months, it’s not meant to tell us why things happen – that is for us to interpret ourselves…which we will, and share with you once the Q3 results are out!

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