How much should you spend on Audience Measurement?

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Forget for a second the automated audience measurement systems from the established players like Quividi, Trumedia and Videomining and the newbies from the likes of Wututu (to be launched at Screen Expo Europe, London) and 121VIEW (to be launched at ISE, Amsterdam) and think holistically about how much a screen network should be spending on Audience Measurement (conventional research and any automated means available).

Let’s take a look at other advertising mediums in the United Kingdom and see how much they spend…

  • Radio
    Industry Body: RAJAR
    Research Method: Self Completion Diary
    OTS definition: Listening for at least five minutes in a fifteen minute period
    Measurement cost* :0.9%
  • Print
    Industry Body: NRS
    Research Method: Face to Face Interview
    OTS definition: Read or looked at any copy of newspaper/magazine for at least two minutes during its ‘publication interval’
    Measurement cost*: 0.25%
  • TV
    Industry Body: BARB
    Research Method: Panel equipped with electronic meters
    OTS definition: Panel member in the room with the TV switched on and the peoplemeter button pushed.
    Measurement cost*: 0.3%
  • Outdoor
    Industry Body: POSTAR
    Research Method: Traffic Counts
    OTS definition: Modeled and calibrated by visibility adjustments. Visibility adjusted passage past a poster site
    Measurement cost*: 0.1%

*Note that the “Measurement Cost” is the approximate cost of audience measurement as a percentage of gross advertising revenues for that medium

I find it hard to believe that Radio spends the most in percentage terms (however in my humble opinion is probably the biggest waste of time – I had a RAJAR man come to the door just before Christmas and I spent a week filling in the diary – trust me however committed the consumer is the diary is not an accurate reflection of listening habits).

My take on audience measurement and research is simple – spend more than you think you can afford and publish the results widely – both good results and bad results as well!!!

Let me end by telling you a secret. Successful networks spend more time and more money on audience measurement and research in general than you (ever) realise AND that is why they are generally quite successful. MDM.TV and Avanti Screenmedia both expend lots and lots of time and energy on research (the latter is also the only network that we know of that has a Director of Market Research).


Rob Gorrie from ADCENTRICTY over on his own blog has improved (a lot if I am honest) on this post of mine about audience measurement. His take on the subjcect can be found at

One Response to “How much should you spend on Audience Measurement?”

  1. Rob Gorrie Says:

    I had a good leader Adrian :)

    …something about imitation is the ultimate….

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