Radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) has called for tenders for a single regional radio survey provider from 2016, and is also seeking interest from software providers to create a Gold Standard to take regional radio surveys into the next phase of development.
This survey tender relates to markets outside of the five capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and the major regional cites of the Gold Coast, Canberra and Newcastle, which are covered by the current GfK Audience Measurement Survey contract.
The winning survey tender will be the new CRA Regional Radio Audience Measurement provider, as GfK is for metropolitan radio and the three major regional cities.
A new radio research protocol for regional licence areas outside the main GfK Radio Audience Measurement contract was introduced in 2013 to allow more regular and less expensive research for smaller radio markets.
Nine markets have released regional radio ratings under the CRA Regional Radio Audience Measurement methodology: Wollongong, NSW, Albury, NSW; Swan Hill, VIC; Hobart, TAS; Horsham, VIC, Hamilton, VIC; and Colac, VIC, Warrnambool, NSW and Sunshine Coast, Qld. In some areas it has been the first survey in a decade and advertisers both nationally and locally have responded positively to the research.
“Currently one of four approved regional ratings survey providers can undertake audience measurement surveys in conjunction with other commercial and public broadcasters in their licence area. The introduction of one official provider following the tender will maintain consistency across markets,” said Joan Warner, chief executive officer, Commercial Radio Australia.
Prior to the regional protocol, the prohibitive cost of radio surveys in regional areas (with the exception of Newcastle, Canberra and the Gold Coast) has historically resulted in fewer surveys in these areas.
Under the new methodology, regional radio stations can commission an official survey in their licence area to offer advertisers a more regular insight into regional listening.
The successful tender for the CRA Regional Radio Audience Measurement will be announced by the end of 2015.