Long gone are the days where broadcast media monitoring is a ‘nice to have’ for radio stations, TV channels, sales houses, advertising agencies, PR agencies, advertisers, music copyright owners, musicians and collective management organisations (CMOs).
If you don’t subscribe to such a service, you’re playing catch-up all the time, or resting on your laurels. And if it is not a credible service, you’re using a GIGO approach.
But finding the right media monitoring company to cater to your needs is not as simple as a Google search. Understanding the technology on a high level is imperative to make an informed decision, otherwise you’ll just waste valuable time and money. Not all broadcast media monitoring companies are similar.
What you need to know about the broadcast media monitoring company and their technology
Independence is key: The most crucial characteristic of all is whether the supplier is independent. What does this mean? For data to be produced, do “they” need input or audio clips from anybody? If you must watermark audio clips or give them a copy of the audio to pre-load before detection can be made, they are not independent.
‘As Played Logs’ are not monitoring data: Fact.
Recording from Source: Is the recording of the broadcast from transmitter, as the targeted consumer would hear/view it? Recording from an internet stream is not reliable at all and doesn’t tell the true story of events. Recording from within studio obscures external factors such as transmission errors.
Accuracy: Accuracy goes without saying. Manual clipping of audio, pre-loading or watermarking by a human will put you in the weeds and you’ll be on the receiving end of poor accuracy. A patented process is normally good peace of mind.
Archiving: If there is a dispute about a claim/data, do they have the audio/visuals archived for a couple of years. Archiving should never be an optional line item on your invoice when it comes to auditing, it is a must have and should always be included in the service.
Uptime: IT geeks often talk about SLAs or Service Level Agreements and Failover and Redundancy. Bottomline is, can ‘they’ guarantee uptime of 99.9%? Is there backup recording equipment in place in the event of equipment failure?
Quality of Information and Speed of Delivery: Make sure software is doing the hard and smart work. Manual clipping of audio means significant delays on data/reports and easily error prone.
Are the audio/visuals included? This should always be included. If you’re paying additional fees for audio, you’re overpaying.
Data coverage: 24/7/365 of the audio and visuals of a radio station or TV channel should be processed. If not, refer to points 1, 4 and 7 above.
At AFSTEREO, as the only independent broadcast media monitoring service in South Africa, we strive to be that trusted supplier. Real-time data is provided through our client portal: www.gnosko.co.za
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