Radio audiences

Date of publication: June 15, 1994

Abstract:

This paper sets out to: Compare the published radio audience figures for a wide range of countries in Western Europe, as generated by their national audience measurement systems. Look for any systematic differences in the figures being reported by diary-based and 24-hour recall systems respectively. Examine evidence of the reliability (or otherwise) of these two conventional techniques for measuring radio audiences - not least what happens to figures when methodological changes are introduced. Report the professional opinions of the public broadcaster research community of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two techniques. Examine empirical evidence of the validity and reliability of radio audience measurement systems. Argue for more debate within the research community towards a consensus on preferred technical procedures for radio audience measurement - separately for 24-hour recall on the one hand and the 7-day self-completion diary on the other. — Demonstrate the pay-off of such initiatives in terms of the value of more robust radio audience figures, to meet the needs both of senior broadcasting management for basic measures of public accountability and of the advertising community.

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