The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) says it has made “significant progress” in terms of planning the way forward for television and radio audience measurement. The NAB resigned from the South African Audience Research Foundation (Saarf) earlier this year, a move that will come into full effect on 1 January, and which signifies the formation of a new industry body that will handle the audience research requirements of television and radio broadcasters.
The NAB and its members had “important concerns relating to fluctuations, inconsistencies and anomalies in the television audience measurement survey (TAMS)” that led to it resigning from Saarf.
The NAB has now issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at businesses interested in tendering for radio listenership research. “In view of NAB’s recent resignation from Saarf, the body finds it appropriate to call for proposals now in order to ensure maximum input and a smooth transition come January 2015, when the current tender expires,” it said in a statement. “Outcomes from the RFP will be used in conjunction with a wide array of stakeholder involvement to ensure a fully transparent and participative tender process.”
The NAB outlined its plans for the future. On the agenda is developing and implementing three concurrent projects relating to structure, funding mechanisms and internationally accepted best practice methodology. “Global technological developments have prompted researchers to apply increasingly focused and reliable sampling and weighting techniques coupled with corrective checks and balances, to measuring both television audiences and radio listenership,” the NAB says.
“Whilst being a highly regulated sector of media, the broadcast landscape has altered dramatically in the recent past with the issuing of additional licenses. This is set to continue over the next three years with the long anticipated launch of digital terrestrial technology (DTT),” it says.
Saarf itself recently contracted CESP to conduct an extensive audit on the TAMS and made certain recommendations on how to correct “flaws and inaccuracies”, NAB says. It was agreed that Saarf’s NAB appointed members, the Saarf executive and the TAMS service provider Nielsen Media Research, work together on the corrective recommendations made by the TAMS auditors. This process and the final outcome will ensure that the broader industry has access to reliable audience research data on which to base advertising decisions.
A series of meetings have been held with industry bodies to discuss and report on their immediate and future plans. “Information on the establishment of structures to manage broadcast research once the resignation from Saarf has become affective will be shared,” NAB says. “This includes wide-ranging measures to ensure the integrity and credibility of the research, the imposition of rigorous obligations on the service provider and a process of on-going and independent audits.
“The broadcasters remain open and committed to on-going collaboration and debate on the inter-media establishment survey and to this end has established an internal working group of television and radio members”.
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