By Peter Saxon.
Seduced by the promise of premium sandwiches, I found myself sitting in the CRA boardroom last week with a dozen or so media journalists ready to hear the latest news on RADIO 360°, GfK’s Hybrid Audience Measurement strategy –some of which will be on display with the results of Survey 1, to be released on Thursday.
When Deb Hishon (left) GfK’s Media Measurement Director for Australia and New Zealand, entered the room, she was sporting the biggest watch on a slender wrist I’d ever seen. She was also carrying a large white box; the type of packaging Apple might use for its computers.
It quickly became apparent that the watch that Deb was wearing was one of the much-vaunted GfK Media Watches that will be used for gathering data from a panel of 2000 respondents in the field.
Putting two and two together and getting five, I thought, and hoped, along with some of the others gathered, that the large white box contained watches for all of us. Sadly, no. Apparently these watches are each worth a small fortune, in the vicinity of a slightly used Lamborghini. What the white box did contain, though, was all the paraphernalia that comes with each watch including the charging pad that also downloads, overnight, all the data that the watch had captured the previous day.
The main reason the watch was in short supply is that 2,000 of them (400 in each metro market) have already been deployed and have been busily recording the wearers’ listening habits, ready to be included with the results of Survey 1, this Thursday – except no one, other than top brass at CRA and GfK, will get to see the actual results from those watches till later this year. When? ‘Before June,’ according to CRA CEO Ford Ennals, who admitted to being a little cagey as to when the watch will be fully operational and integrated into the public results. He denied it had anything to do with making sure the watch data closely resembled the established trends. That possibility (which would spell disaster) I was assured had been well tested and will not happen like it did in the U.S. more than a decade ago.
While the long-awaited watch is undoubtedly the star of the show, the supporting cast of new measures adopted by Radio 360 that will be on parade on Thursday will offer an elevated suite of insights for stations and advertisers alike.
Till now, all CRA “approved” media outlets such as radioinfo received a very skinny set of stats that included Share and a DAB+ Cume page from the Summary Report on survey day. From Survey 1, next Thursday, we’ll receive the full Summary Report for all markets, that will include Share, Average Audience, Cumulative Audience and Cumulative figures for DAB+.
All this new information will add a layer of detail and complexity to the survey results that will be welcomed by the ‘radio professionals’ that constitute radioinfo readers. However, it could be too much information (TMI) for the populist tabloids. As one scribe at the meeting, from Sydney’s Daily Telegraph mentioned, ‘I’m only allocated 200 words to report on the radio ratings. All my readers want to know is who came first and who came last.’
More on this tomorrow.