BRC RAM has come of age, reporting data for its first full year of existence. Michael Bratt attended the release of the numbers to find out more.
The latest RAM release has reiterated a lot of the trends that were seen in previous releases, something which BRC CEO Clare O’Neil describes as, “What you are going to see, and the people who have been using this data since we released it, is that it is totally stable.”
Despite minimal changes in the results of the research, it is still a valuable resource to utilise, as not only does it reveal listener numbers but also which devices they are listening to radio on, and where they are listening to it. O’Neil says minimal changes were expected. “When you create a sample that looks the same all the time you get stability, so it was expected. Some radio stations did change… but I don’t look at individual stations, I look at the entire data set, and go this data set is stable… If there are shifts in stations then those are real shifts.”
The more things change, the more they remain the same
The research continued to have a sample that closely reflects the SA population, with an impressive weighting efficiency of over 80%. The research is also credible as before the data is released it goes through intense scrutiny including four scrutiny gates (sample, stability, weighting, and station change). Over 69 000 individual diaries were received throughout the year and several trends were reinforced.
These include radio being everywhere, with a 92% reach across the country; a longer average listening time, coming in at four hours per day; heavy listening with 52% of respondents listening to more than 20 hours of radio a week; traditional radio remaining the dominant way people listen to their content, with 77% of respondents confirming this; and radio listening throughout the day, whereas before there was a belief that it dropped off when it was not drive time.
“I don’t think radio listening has changed, it’s just that now we are picking up more listening, through cross device and cross platform listening,” O’Neil says, clarifying the data.
Look into the data
During her address, O’Neil advised attendees on how to use the data. “Use your 12 month data set to build your station profile. And I would encourage media planners to do the same… I encourage all of you to look into the data. Look further and you will learn about the people of South Africa.”
O’Neil re-emphasised the importance of the BRC RAM research to the media industry. “It covers every single radio station in the country and it is the only real proper radio research around. Who else is doing something like this? A study this big? This is the de facto currency as far as I am concerned and it’s the de facto profiling base of radio stations”.
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