How to track radio listenership?

It’s always puzzled me how radio broadcasters can claim they have increased their listenership, without the type of tracking that we have become used to from the internet.

How could one track listers that use normal radios? Image

Is it possible to attach a tracking code to radio broadcasts? So that any device that is playing that station will be registered in some outstanding way?

Could we infect all radios using the latest chirruping idea that can send files to devices using sound.

I suppose the problem is how can a normal radio, lets say it was made in 1992, broadcast information about what channel its tuned to in real time? Can we tag a broadcast that is activated to count when each individual unit is changed to that radio frequency?

I suppose the answer is no, but it would be a very saleable piece of data collection kit I imagine, if a radio station could track real time listenership and optimise their content based on these extremely accurate figures. 

I love the radio.


About flyflaps

In the end there was only two of us left.
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3 Responses to How to track radio listenership?

  1. mikeC says:

    i had wondered about this too, but if you think about it we only have receiving aerials, and not broadcasting aerials…. but if we did have broadcasting aerials, then we’d need one hell of a load of bandwidth to accommodate all the broadcasting aerials,
    in reality it turns out that (in the recent past) recording devices were placed in select households (a sample % of households), which tracked what was watched, for how long etc., and statistics come up with the final number.

    i’m sure that much of it these days is done through the computer, but modern statistics are taking into account what is listened to online as well as the TV and Radio. ooohhhh, i’d hate to be trying to figure out the algorithm to get the final results

    • flyflaps says:

      Thanks Mike. Thats true about the receiver & the broadcaster. But I wonder if the broadcast unit could send lets say packaged stored listenership of that radio unit to a mobile device receiver, rather than a broadcast receiver.

      • mikeC says:

        what you’re talking about now is essentially sending packets over a network … which is the same as sending them over the internet, or over a phone network. why duplicate that which is already there.
        i would assume that all viewership information is automatically forwarded by internet these days, of course i could be wrong

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