Preliminary findings, which were released during last week's Radio Advertising Bureau conference in Houston, indicate that the ad industry views it as an "imperfect medium" that suffers from serious "accountability" issues, including a lack of "schedule integrity," poor perceptions of its current audience measurement system, as well as untimely data.
Not coincidentally, the study was backed by Arbitron, the industry's primary provider of radio audience measurement data, which also happens to be trying to introduce a new portable people meter system that many believe would elevate the quality of radio audience research, putting it on a level playing field with television.
The study includes several phases, which are being conducted by communications planning agency TargetCast TCM and consultant Padin & Estabrook LLC.
While the study may be designed to help position a move toward a new radio measurement system, the findings were especially damning for the medium. Marketers and agency executives surveyed ranked the accountability of radio advertising buys lower than other media.
The study also found that ad executives would like access to radio commercial audience ratings, but the report noted that such a development would like "increase some advertisers' spending in radio... while reducing others." Those who use data to more effectively place ads will increase their radio budgets, while those who are unwilling to take the extra analytical steps, may actually reduce their radio ad spending.