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Latest RAMS release temporarily on hold

After review, The Broadcast Research Council of South Africa (BRC) says that the new RAMS (Radio Audience Measurement Survey) release to the industry is temporarily on hold as the assessment process brought several factors and considerations to light, which has increased the scope of the exercise, requiring additional time and consideration.

‘The exercise was fortuitous in many ways and will ensure that we start as we mean to end,’ says BRC’s CEO, Gary Whitaker. ‘While the assessment report is being finalised, the BRC is intent on keeping the entire industry informed of developments as they happen.’

After the April to July 2021 (Quarter 2 plus one additional month) dataset was analysed with a sample size of just over 12 000, by 3M3A and Professor Ariane Neethling, it was concluded that although the weighted data at a total and overall provincial level are good, there are gaps in the results when looking at interlaced target markets at a provincial level. It goes without saying that in order to accurately measure radio stations the sample should be as well balanced as possible.

‘As this is the launch of the industry’s new radio currency, designed to support commercial trading, we need to ensure that every element supports the delivery of ongoing stable data,’ adds Whitaker.

The next set of data Q2+2, April to August 2021, is now available for assessment by the team. This additional month will take the sample up to 15 000 assisting with filling in some of the gaps seen in the previous dataset. The other immediate recommendation includes investigation of a different calibration method to derive the weighted data while longer term improvements will be set in motion.

With the implementation of these recommendations, the BRC feels positive that the Q2+2 dataset will pass the stability and efficiency standards and result in a release.

‘We understand that the industry is eager to have the new RAMS data released, however, additional time is needed to deliver a stable currency by taking a long-term view and realising the larger vision for the study,’ concludes Whitaker.

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