Measuring Community Radio Audiences (Thematic stream: „Researching Community Media Audiences“)
For a number of reasons, professional audience measurement as carried out by Public Service and commercial radio broadcasters is inappropriate for Community Radio services. Not only is there the issue of the high costs involved, but more fundamentally, there is also the problem that such approaches are rather ‚granular‘ (with a tendency towards inaccuracy when measuring smaller specialist services). Moreover, professional audience surveys tend to focus only on the quantitative measurement of audience size, rather than on the qualitative elements of audience satisfaction.
This presentation will use the example of the approach taken by UK Community Radio station, ‚Future Radio‘ to obtain both quantitative data through street surveys and qualitative data through on-line questionnaires. Showing how reasonably accurate data can be obtained on a cost-effective basis, issues of accuracy and practical difficulties will also be explored.