Irish radio industry to test people-meter technology

Executives study possible alternative to survey method of measuring listenership

The Irish radio industry will pilot a people- meter technology system next year to see if it could provide a alternative to the current survey used for the Joint National Listenership Research (JNLR) ratings.

Radio executives on the JNLR committee have talked to MediaCell, a division of the multinational research firm Ipsos, with a view to testing its system of audience measurement in Ireland. They have also met representatives of Norwegian public service broadcaster NRK, which uses people-meter technology to calculate the size of its audiences.

Although people-meter technology is the method used to calculate television ratings, it is more complex to use it to measure radio audiences because so much radio consumption takes place outside the home.

The Ipsos MBRI-compiled JNLR survey, which questions 16,600 people over the course of a rolling 12-month period, is based on research method known as “day-after aided recall”, in which respondents are asked a series of questions about their listening habits in the recent past. The survey, which is published quarterly, can take some time to reveal trends in listenership.


Today FM chief executive Peter McPartlin told an industry event last week that people metering was “an expensive technology” that had its own flaws, but that he expected it would be introduced to Irish radio “some day”.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics