Britain's radio broadcasting industry finally dragged itself into the twentieth century by agreeing to adopt electronic audience measurement technology - in the fifth year of the twenty-first century.

Following a poll of over three hundred radio and advertising executives, RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research), the media-owned body that controls and administers audience research in the UK, is to abandon its paper diary monitoring methodology in favour of an electronic system.

According to a RAJAR press release, all stakeholders saw electronic measurement as the way forward, but that a period of introduction, education, information and careful management is vital. They also required that that any new specification and methodology should be credible and robust as well as affordable.

Said RAJAR managing director Sally de la Bedoyere: "This was the most important industry-wide consultation ever undertaken by RAJAR, and we were overwhelmed by the response from all sectors of the industry.

"We are delighted to report there is wide consensus that a single audience measurement system is essential for the future of radio audience research, and that while the introduction of electronic measurement is seen as very important, the accuracy and robustness of the data, allied to cost was seen as the key.

"We now have a far clearer picture of the needs of the industry and the feedback we have received will help enormously in framing the specification for the new contract which we will be drawing up in the next few months."

The feedback confirmed that RAJAR should continue to provide a single audience measurement survey that covers all BBC and commercial radio output, and that evolves with the changing nature of the radio market and radio listening.

  • And as if to endorse RAJAR members' belated acceptance that papyrus has had its day, the British public, along with the UK radio industry, triumphantly demonstrated that the digital age has arrived.

    The Digital Radio Development Bureau reports that cumulative sales of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcast) radios through 2004 comfortably reached the one million target it set at the beginning of the year.

    When December sales are confirmed, total sales for the year are expected to exceed the 1.2 million predicted in the DRDB's five-year forecast.

    DRDB director Ian Dickens predicts that a further 1.2m digital radios will be sold this year.

    Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff