RAJAR has invested in an on-going programme of development and innovation geared to maximising accuracy, accountability and quality of data. The digitisation of the medium has created new demands, and in response, the survey has been adapted to measure all individual listening platforms – online/apps, DTV set top receivers, Smart Speakers and DAB Digital Radio as well as traditional analogue radio (AM/FM).
The Covid pandemic was severely disruptive for RAJAR’s fieldwork operation, and it became necessary to develop a modified measurement service that was less reliant on face-to-face interaction. There were two reasons for this – firstly, it was impossible to return to full-scale face-to-face interviewing because of Covid restrictions, and secondly, to make the survey more resilient in the event of future disruption.
To achieve this, RAJAR looked to the introduction of a hybrid system based on face-to-face fieldwork operating in conjunction with a continuous panel. This took the form of a panel of people keeping a diary once a month, in conjunction with a separate panel registering their listening via an app-based passive measurement system called MediaCell. Panel and survey respondents are counted equally in the sample across all reporting periods.
Because MediaCell captures a continuous record of a person’s radio exposure, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, it is necessary to convert this large volume of data into the best representation of their typical weekly listening. To achieve this, RAJAR has developed a proprietary model that collects listening across several weeks and ranks it according to the most frequent sessions by time of day and day of week. The end product is a virtual diary, indistinguishable from a standard RAJAR weekly diary, but with the added benefit that it delivers the best possible account of that person’s typical listening across the time period.