Audience reaction as a tool for planning
This paper describes the Radio Opinion Monitor (ROM) which is used by the BBC to monitor audience reaction to network radio in the UK. The BBC has measured audience reaction to its services for many years and ROM is a new vehicle which has been designed to accommodate changes in information requirements and the broadcast environment. ROM is a panel survey which delivers roughly 1 listener to each of the BBC's five network services over the course of a month. The principal panel control is the combination of services which respondents listen to which, in this context, is a more useful way of classifying individuals than simple demographics. Panel members complete a diary once every four weeks in which they give a mark out of ten to each programme which they happen to hear. These scores are used to calculate a Reaction Index (RI) for each programme and this information is used alongside audience measurement data in assessing the performance of individual programmes and as a tool for programme planning and scheduling. The paper describes the way in which panel controls were developed and initial problems due to panel effects. Examples of the use of the data are also given.
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