Moving on: RBA ends its long-term relationship with TNS–UPDATED

Today the Radio Broadcasters Association announced GfK would be the new provider for the commercial radio survey from 2016, taking over longtime research contract-holder TNS.

The announcement follows a full review by the industry including two independent reviews of international radio research and input from agencies, clients and broadcasters, an RBA release says.

It says the review shoed an overwhelming demand for more continuous research, more regular reporting and changes to the methodology to improve the experience for those researched and those using the analysed data. There was also a call for the radio data to be comparable to other media in terms of further nationwide reach.

TNS New Zealand (previously Research International) had held the research contract since 1991 its website says.

Official surveys are conducted bi-annually in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and yearly for Northland, Waikato, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Nelson, Dunedin and Southland for the Official Commercial Radio Ratings to the New Zealand radio industry.

“The RBA Board members of NZME, MediaWorks and various independent broadcasters have made great progress around survey methodology and investigating suitable providers,” says RBA chairman Norm Collison. “We are pleased to announce today that GfK will be our new provider for 2016 with a number of improvements to the current surveys”.

The Board were impressed with the advancements GfK presented to the industry, he says. “along with highly commended work they have done in Australian and Asian markets.”

(UPDATE) TNS managing director Jason Shoebridge says TNS is obviously disappointed with the decision. “we have had a long and productive relationship with the RBA and the radio industry generally and no one enjoys losing business. We are yet to have a full debrief on why were not successful but the RBA correctly decided that the survey needed to utilise new technology and they appear to have decided that GfK’s technological solution better met their needs than the solution that we proposed.”

The impact on the business won’t be large, he says. “The radio survey is a relatively niche part of our operation and we continue to see good growth in our core consulting business, with new business from existing clients and a couple of high profile new clients coming on board in the last couple of months.”

Mediaworks and NZME chief executive officers Mark Weldon and Jane Hastings say they are happy the industry has been able to take on board all the major demands of clients and advertisers and are confident the new radio research will not only be the biggest annual media research done in New Zealand, but also one of the most proactive mediums in adapting to new technology and platforms so it is great to finally see the industry research move forward.

GfK says it looks forward to bringing its experience form the Australian market to New Zealand. “We are really excited to be selected as the new provider of Radio Audience Measurement in the New Zealand market. Radio in New Zealand is dynamic, nuanced and strong, and we look forward to collaborating with the industry to future proof their measurement system using our latest data collection techniques, analysis software and strategic insights.”

TNS, will remain the provider for the T2 survey in August/September which will be a combination of 80 percent paper diary and the addition of up to 20 percent online panel respondents to improve the robustness of the sample, the release says.

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