Radio Response are currently putting together a consortium bid for The Community Radio Fund Round 2 2016/2017, seeking funding for a standardised measurement system and methodology for the community radio sector. The bid will be led by Dom Chambers of Somer Valley FM.
[If your community radio station would like to be part of the consortium and you haven't applied for funding in Round 1 and don't intend to in Round 2, and you'd like more information on our bid, please contact me - email@example.com or give me a tinkle on 0161 818 6000]
We talk to community radio stations every day and, without fail, the second-biggest challenge that they feel they face (after "We could do with a bit more money!") is the lack of an affordable audience measurement system.
Totally unnecessary link to Wiley video - 1 of 2
RAJAR is a walled garden. One community station we know of was recently quoted £16,000 per year to take part in a survey - for sight of data that RAJAR themselves have already collected.
And, of course, the people who run community radio stations, being the dynamic, pro-active types that they are, have gone about trying to solve the problem.
By commissioning their own research.
Building the methodology from scratch.
Which, of course, is great for communicating listener numbers to volunteers and potential local advertisers, but is of no blooming use in a national context.
If advertising agencies, national and quasi-national clients are going to even look at buying media from our sector, we need to present audience data in a uniform format.
So, the plan is to take the methodology Express FM commissioned from the University of Portsmouth - which has since been ASA ratified in the face of a complaint from a "local" commercial broadcaster - and incorporate stations' online, mobile and digital data.
Then we'll package it all up, disseminate it through all channels and hook it up to as many programmatic media buying platforms as possible.
Totally unnecessary link to Wiley video - 2 of 2
We're currently writing the bid document and, as things stand, we're aiming for two surveys per station in Year 1 - one on day one and one after six months.
We've got "expressions of interest" from 19 stations so far, so we think we've got room for another six. Please email me or give me a shout if you'd like to join the bid.
We'll be publishing the draft bid document and details of the methodology over the next couple of weeks and will welcome any feedback with open arms.
We'd really appreciate any help and advice - this has never been done before!
If your community radio station would like to be part of the consortium and you haven't applied for funding in Round 1 and don't intend to in Round 2, and you'd like more information on our bid, please contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a tinkle on 0161 818 6000