Radio ratings revamp with audio matching technology

Tayla Foster
By Tayla Foster | 21 March 2022

The new GfK Radio360 audience measurement system has its first panel of participants recruited in Sydney by Commercial Radio Australia.

The panel members will wear the GfK MediaWatch, which uses audio matching to identify when participants are listening to a radio station. The devices are also equipped with heat and motion sensors to confirm the watch is being worn.

Participants will be selected for the Melbourne panel in coming weeks, and building of panels in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will begin as further shipments arrive in the country later in the year.

Australia will be one of the first markets in the world to introduce the use of the GfK wearable technology as part of a new hybrid measurement system announced last year.

Work is also underway to enable the collection of live streaming data from radio station websites, apps and player server logs.

The information from the watches will be used to calibrate the streaming data to ensure its accuracy and remove the potential for double counting as listeners use multiple devices and apps to listen.

“We’re extremely excited to be moving ahead with GfK and the multimillion-dollar transformation of the radio ratings system,” said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.

“Digital listening is growing at pace and advertiser interest is high. Through these changes, the industry will have for the first time a single source for live streaming data that is uniform and consistent across all the major commercial radio networks.”

Radio streaming has surged over the past two years with more listeners tuning in via smartphone apps, websites and smart speakers.

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