Radio 360 goes live tomorrow

By AdNews | 5 June 2023

The commercial radio industry’s new audience measurement system, Radio 360, goes live tomorrow with the release of the third GfK metropolitan radio survey of the year.

Radio 360 will provide a first look at the size of radio’s rapidly-growing streaming audiences following the strong uptake in recent years of listening over connected devices such as mobile phones and smart speakers.

The move marks a transition to a sophisticated hybrid measurement system developed by GfK that will provide accurate and granular information on radio listening across all platforms and devices, anywhere, anytime.

Phase one will deliver total, broadcast and streaming audience figures for each radio station across the five major metro markets, giving the industry and advertisers a clear picture of listening behaviour and the size of the digital opportunity.

The second phase in 2024 will integrate podcast metrics to provide a deduplicated view of radio and podcast audiences as well as the release of special reports based on real-time monitoring. The system provides the capability to measure listening spikes based around special events and breaking news in addition to the existing eight radio surveys per year.

Radio360 integrates data from three different sources into one currency.

The first is 50,000 surveys per year completed by listeners in geographically and demographically representative households across the five metro markets

The second is measurement of streaming listening over millions of connected devices, with data taken directly from radio station websites, listening apps and server logs

Finally, information from a 2,000-person panel of respondents wearing the GfK MediaWatch, a wearable meter that automatically captures information on radio listening when the wearer is in hearing range of a radio station, is also included. Data from the watch is encrypted for privacy and downloaded to GfK daily when users recharge the watch using a wireless docking station.

Ciaran Davis, chair of industry body Commercial Radio & Audio and CEO of ARN Media, said the new system was the result of significant investment and strong collaboration across the entire industry and ratings provider GfK.

“With one in four Australians now streaming live radio on a weekly basis, we are at the start of a broad, positive shift to digital listening," said Davis.

“We are proud we now have a measurement system that allows us to demonstrate the reach and influence of radio on all platforms, supports our ambitions to become a much bigger player in the digital audio advertising space and is built to meet future needs.”

CRA ECO Ford Ennals said the industry recognises the need to better deliver the granular measurement and deep customer insights that brands and media agencies are hungry for.

“We hope Radio360 will encourage advertisers to allocate more of their digital and audio spend to Australian radio. We have independently verified measurement – something many of the big tech players still don’t offer – and radio delivers both scale and targeted audiences," said Ennals.

GfK media measurement director Deb Hishon said it is genuinely excited to bring Radio 360 to market.

"It’s a credit to the industry that Australia is one of the first countries in the world to introduce hybrid measurement to solve the complex challenge of measuring listening across so many places and platforms," said Hishon.

"This is just the start and we now have a foundation for future development and integration.”

 Radio 360 benefits

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