New Year, New Research from RTÉ

 

2020 was a busy year in more ways than one for RTÉ Media Sales and now, in early 2021, we’re delighted to share the fruits of two specific research projects - Understanding Audio’ and ‘A Single Audience Metric for One RTÉ’.

Carried out with Red C, Understanding Audio was a research project designed to give us a better understanding of our radio listeners, both young and old.  As part of this project, we also looked at RTÉ Radio 1’s advertising effectiveness among 35-54s. We deliberately focused on this cohort as they’re an important trading demo for RTÉ Radio 1 and a target for Radio 1’s new schedule.

 

Advertising Effectiveness

The advertising effectiveness research was overdue - while many studies exist about the effectiveness of TV advertising, there are far fewer available around radio.  This is despite radio advertising accounting for 20-25% of all advertising in Ireland.

Our approach was a pre- and post-stated reaction test to advertising set within the context of RTÉ Radio 1 programming.  At pre-recruitment stage, 150 respondents were asked baseline questions around brand recall, consideration and purchase intent.  A little while later they were then tasked with listening to one of three typical RTÉ Radio 1 programme comprising two minutes of matched advertising.  This was then followed up by a post-listening survey to asses ad recall and perceived engagement of the programme, plus impact on brand recall, brand consideration and purchase intent.

The outcomes were clear as shown in Figure 1 (above).  Consumers exposed to these ads on Radio 1 showed a significant uplift in brand saliency through improved top of mind awareness.  Adverts played during the radio shows were universally liked by the majority of listeners, illustrating the receptive nature of radio as an advertising platform.  And thirdly, consumers exposed to the ads exhibited a significant uplift in consideration and likely purchase of the brands being advertised.

In a nutshell, this research provided evidence that radio engenders strong engagement and enjoyment with a positive listening experience, hence creating a high-quality advertising environment which in turn is boosted by RTÉ Radio 1’s shorter ad breaks.

 

Understanding Audiences

Better understanding the audience was captured by the Needs and Behaviour component of the research.  Here we explored common activities, typical media consumption, and varying audio need-states experienced by people throughout the day, both weekdays and weekends.  For example, when listening to audio, is ‘being informed or learning’ more important than ‘being entertained’ in early mornings?  Or, how many people might be listening to live radio while commuting or say preparing meals?  And indeed, how do these various need-states and activities vary among different demographics?

As this research started its life pre-Covid, with the final piece of field work taking place in September 2020, it has the added benefit of giving us information around how much life has changed in such a short length of time.  Of course, ‘working from home’ jumps out with for example, 29% of 25-44s saying they’re doing this.  Other activities which have also increased include housework, cooking, DIY, gardening and sporting activities - many of which are carried out while listening to audio.

This research, along with the latest JNLR data for RTÉ Radio, has now been distilled it into our easy-to-use ‘Understanding Audio’ dashboard.  At a glance, users can see how the day unfolds for different demographics, what activities and media consumption they might be engaged in, and what audio need-states they’re looking to fulfil or what RTÉ Radio programmes they might be listening to [see Fig 3 below].

Fig 3. Sample of Understanding Audio Dashboard

 

A Single Audience Metric for One RTÉ

Turning now to ‘A Single Audience Metric for One RTÉ’.  This project has been in development for over a year and is something which we are really excited about.  Measurement is of course an important part of our business, and one of the challenges facing the Media Industry, in recent years, has been how to find a single metric for cross platform advertising campaigns.

Based on currency data, (i.e TAM Ireland / Nielsen and JNLR), we know how many people each of our platforms reach.  We also know from other proprietary research that there’s considerable cross-over between different media types and channels.  So, for example, many RTÉ One viewers would also listen to RTÉ Radio 1 and / or watch RTÉ Player.  To date, what has been missing, when planning campaigns across more than one platform, is that single audience reach figure with duplication taken into account.

Designed by UK based company, Telmar, who specialise in media planning solutions, RTÉ has now got a Reach and Frequency tool which can quantify the total audience reached by any combination of its platforms and channels.  This tool has been built through the fusion and modelling of various data sets. Currently it is designed around the weekly reach of advertising campaigns.

This model can measure the net reach of an RTÉ multi-platform advertising campaign, the exclusive reach of a specific platform and the incremental reach delivered by specific channels.

Take a sample campaign of 100 TVRs on RTÉ One complemented by 50 Ratings on RTÉ Radio 1 and 100,000 impressions on Player.  Based on our model, this campaign will reach 40% of the Adult population on TV, 22% on radio and just over 1% on Player which totals 63%.  This is useful information to have in its own right as it gives us each platform’s reach.  However, we know that some of the 40% reached by TV are also included in the 22% reached by radio, and so what’s more useful, is the all-important net – or ‘de-duplicated’ – figure, which in this case is 50%, an estimated 1.9 Million Adults 15+.

We can also use this model to look at the incremental reach delivered by smaller channels or among more niche audiences.  For example, how many new people were reached by Player in the above example?  In this case, it’s approximately 23K Adults – good information to know, particularly when trying to reach more elusive audiences.

In short, this model can help us help our advertisers get the most out of their cross-platform campaigns with RTÉ, while our Understanding Audio dashboard can help advertisers better understand the impact of radio and its role in their advertising plans.  If you would like to learn more about either of these projects, please contact RTÉ Media Sales  at mediasales@rte.ie.