Rating: A Qualitative Analysis Of Radio Listening

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Understanding ratings is an important part of understanding the business of radio, in terms of where the data comes from, what information to report and measure, and what determines the accessibility and quality of the information. All activities of the media are audience focused, both content and market related, and without the audience, all media related activities become entirely pointless.
In the early 1920’s, ratings were developed for out of business purposes to help advertisers select the most appropriate broadcast outlet in search of their desired audiences. Within radio it has been evaluated how ratings have evolved over the years, especially when discussing the different ways that ratings have been measured and how ratings provide a
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This new service, known as CAB (Co-operative Analysis of Broadcasting began in 1930 calling their listeners four different times of the day with the expectation of their respondents to recall their last three to six hours of radio listening. Although this achieved an audience estimate for all national network programmes, CAB could not attempt a telephone recall survey on their listeners who did not have a telephone, forcing CAB to modify its sampling measures to incorporate the low-income households (Webster et al., 2013). However, this method required listeners to remember what they had heard, relying on their listener’s memory was a source of error. The outcome resulted in Claude Hooper replaced Crossley with a new method called a telephone coincidental, asking people what they were listening to at the time of the call (Ang, 1991). The questions asked for those who answered involved:

• “Were you listening to the radio just now?” (Webster et al., 2013).
• “To what programme were you listening?” (Webster et al.,

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