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ftm Radio Page - week ending March 17, 2017

Scandal past, measurement update introduced
faster, better, different

French media measurement institute Médiamétrie is about to take that mighty leap into electronic measurement for radio. By September 2018, if all goes well, the interview-based Médiamétrie 126,000 radio survey will be augmented with a panel wearing or carrying a monitoring device, explained CEO Bruno Chetalille at a press conference this week. Radio committee members - broadcasters and media buyers - will meet very soon to hash-out details.

The push toward electronic measurement for radio began late last century, nearly 20 years ago, with Arbitron’s PPM and the Swiss RadioWatch, both tested widely in several countries, some accepting, some opting to wait. Other devices followed in Italy and Russia. The push has always come from media buyers seeking more granular data and faster reporting. (See more about media measurement here)

Médiamétrie has been developing a proprietary device for several years to measure “watermarked” broadcast signals, similar to the PPM encoding but sufficiently different to satisfy patent attorneys. The RadioWatch, acquired by GfK and renamed MediaWatch, uses audio matching. Médiamétrie’s device was tested in the greater Paris region and will also measure television.

In addition, Médiamétrie is moving forward measurement of streaming audio, podcasts and online catch-up radio with the possibility of integrating it all… somehow. Last year RTL Group national radio channel Fun Radio was delisted from two Médiamétrie audience estimates for distorting ratings, allegedly the morning show DJ asking listeners to give interviewers inaccurate information.

Electronic measurement for radio has been adopted, either exclusively or integrated with interviews, in the US, Canada, South Korea, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway. Broadcasters in the UK (RAJAR) and Germany (AG.MA) continue to resist citing methodological, compliance and cost issues.

Online business supports traditional media
radio advertising "record breaking"

There have been multiple reports of increases in ad spending for radio broadcasters. In the digital age this is tantamount to herds of romping unicorns or flocks of black swans.

In Hungary radio ad spending increased 5.6% in 2016 over the previous year to HUF 9.57 billion (about €30.9 million), according to the Hungarian Advertising Association ((Magyar Reklámszövetség - MRSZ), reported by news portal (March 1). The share of ad spending for radio fell, however, to 5.9% from 6.3%. Total Hungarian ad spending was up 12% year on year to HUF 160.06 billion (about € 520 million) from HUF 142.7 billion (about €460 million). Internet advertising was up 21.9%.

“After a number of changes last year in the radio industry, 89% of the population continues to listen on a monthly basis,” said Radio Operators Association (Radios Médiaszolgaltatok Egyesületé - RAME) president Arpad Turi. Last November national radio channel Class FM was struck from the airwaves for regulatory infractions. Regulator National Media and Communications Authority (NMHH) has moved slowly on a new licensee, first citing a lawsuit by the previous licensee, since suspended, then granting a ten month moratorium on a replacement. (See more about media in Hungary here)

UK radio support group Radiocentre also reported gains, noted by Radio Today (March 9). A “record breaking” GBP 645.8 million accrued to radio broadcasters in 2016, up 5.4% year on year. Online retailers, it seems, nearly doubled their contribution to radio broadcasters. Radio advertising in Italy for January was up 3.9% over the same month in 2016. Alas, a Core Media ad spending forecast, reported by (February 24), projects radio advertising in Ireland to fall 3.5% in 2017.


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