Star Radio Group (SRG) has assigned international market research company GfK to carry out radio audience measurement for its four radio brands – Red FM, SuriaFM, 988 and Capital FM.

SRG previously engaged Nielsen to carry out the measurement, which captured radio listening habits through the diary format. However, SRG identified the limitations posed by this conventional method of measuring radio listenership, due to the change in the media landscape and listeners’ lifestyle.

GfK implements a multi-mode approach in its study which includes elements such as mobile data capture, online recruitment of participants and online data capture, which are in line with SRG’s aim in ensuring the validity and reliability of the measurement.

SRG chief operating officer Kudsia Kahar talks about the decision and its impact on the radio industry:

Why did SRG decide to engage GfK which is still new to the industry?

Consumption of radio content via platforms like online streaming and apps have been in existence long enough for it to be measured. It is a fatal misstep if we fail to measure how people consume and engage with radio brands and content on these platforms.

Since GfK had won the bid to measure radio audiences in Australia, which has a dynamic radio industry, it is only logical for us to also choose them and bring SRG into what is the reality of audiences today.

Paper diaries alone is an archaic approach and no longer a true gauge of where and how our audiences engage and interact with us.

How is GfK’s approach different from the previous market research company?

Relying on the paper diaries alone and getting respondents from gated communities, of which there are plentiful, was a challenge that the previous company could not address adequately.

In-office listenership was not measured, and it took too long for them to come back to us on the implementation of digital diaries. GfK came prepared with paper diaries, e-diaries and m-diaries (mobile diaries) which meant that younger audiences could better participate.

Are you worried about the discrepancy in the findings since a different survey is carried out by other radio stations?

Someone has to take the first step. We are not prepared to wait another two years to understand the current audience trends.

By that time, the brands could be so off the mark it would be too hard to catch up.

The methods of research are not so radically different, but with GfK it is more current. Some of our biggest clients have already made it clear that digital engagement with their potential and current customers is their focus, and via GfK, we’re able to provide those solutions.