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Australia Enters Radio 360° Era

New hybrid survey methodology seeks to better quantify total listenership across all platforms

GfK MediaWatch devices provide passive collection of radio listening data, which is incorporated into the Radio 360° reporting methodology to help deliver deduplicated data about over-the-air and streaming radio listenership.

Audience measurement in Australia enters a new phase this June, with the release of the first metropolitan radio survey to use GfK’s new Radio 360° audience measurement system. Radio 360° is a hybrid measurement system designed to provide accurate, granular information on radio listening across all platforms and devices.

Radio 360° is undergoing a phased launch. Phase one provides total, broadcast and streaming audience figures for each radio station in five major metro markets: Adelaide, South Australia; Brisbane, Queensland; Melbourne, Victoria; Perth, Western Australia; and Sydney, New South Wales.

In 2024, Radio 360° will add in podcasting metrics to provide a deduplicated view of radio and podcast audiences. It will also support special reports based on real-time monitoring, allowing stations to measure listening spikes during special events or breaking news.

Ciaran Davis, chair of 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,” he said.

“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,” Davis stated.

The first Radio 360° survey results found that nearly 26% of listeners, 3.2 million Australians, streamed commercial radio each week. Listeners spent an average of 4 hours and 24 minutes streaming each week. About a third of commercial DAB+ station listeners tuned in via streaming. An in-depth look at the results can be found on the CRA website.

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GfK Media Measurement Director Deb Hishon noted that with Radio 360°, Australia is one of the first countries in the world to introduce hybrid measurement for cross-platform radio listening. As part of the survey analysis, GfK audits and verifies the data to ensure it is compatible with prior listenership surveys.

For Radio 360°, GfK integrates data from three different sources: surveys from 50,000 listeners in geographically and demographically representative households across the five metro markets; streaming measurements from station websites, apps and server logs; and information from 2,000 people wearing GfK MediaWatch devices that automatically capture information on radio listening.

This allows GfK to provide deduplicated data on each radio station’s streaming and broadcast listeners, including information on streaming by age groups and day parts. In turn, this provides advertisers deeper audience insights.

“The industry recognizes the need to better deliver the granular measurement and deep customer insights that brands and media agencies are hungry for,” stated CRA ECO Ford Ennals. “We hope Radio 360° will encourage advertisers to allocate more of their digital and audio spend to Australian radio.”