Monday, April 30, 2007

ARB's E-Diary Hurts Response Rates

Inside Radio reports:
Arbitron calls a screeching halt to the “eDiary.” The idea seemed like a natural – give diarykeepers the option of notating their listening online. But Arbitron says eDiary – just introduced in the Winter book – “appears to have a negative impact on return rate.” They’re suspending its use and say they caught the problem in time to put out more sample for Phase III.

Albright & O'Malley's "Roadmap '07" study of 9,348 country listeners which was conducted in February estimated that 21.7% of country listeners "have ever participated in a survey of radio listenership where you had to either keep track of your listening on paper, or online or where you had to recall your listening habits on the phone."

* 21.4% "liked" the experience, 6.9% "loved" it.
* 6.3% "hated" it, 20.1% "didn't like it but didn't hate it."
* 45.3% had no opinion, positive or negative on the experience of reporting their radio listening.
In our survey, which was conducted online to A&O client station databases, so not surprisingly 19% of respondents said they would be very interested in keeping track of their radio listening online. But, very close behind at 17% was a paper diary and at 16% by a pager-like device.

Of course, it would have been very nice had the online diary improved response rates for our sample of country radio listeners, but it doesn't appear that the loss of the web diary will negatively impact our audience's participation in either paper diary surveys or portable metered ratings.

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