Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Online radio’s coming of age makes stable measurement a must

A huge argument recently exploded online about the accuracy of measuring online radio. Industry leaders give their perspective.

The launch of a number of new online radio stations in the last few years is a healthy addition to the local digital broadcast sector. But the hotly debated issue of the measurement of these stations has recently been inflamed by the bandying about of a number of purportedly inflated online metrics. This has led to rigorous debate and in one instance, litigation by certain players.

The primary focus of the controversy is an exposé published by IT specialist Shaun Dewberry insisting the figures provided were vastly inflated. Thereafter, internet streaming service provider NetDynamix admitted that the numbers it provides to its clients – including the country’s top two online radio stations 2oceansvibe and Ballz Visual Media – might not be an accurate representation of their listenership.

The Mail & Guardian website,
M&G.co.za, reported that the company provided numbers to its clients based on ’sessions‘. The M&G article explains: “A session refers to a connection to a server in order to receive an audio or video stream. It does not take into account whether the same user may be initiating multiple sessions, which may happen if, for example, a user was disconnected from the internet and had to reconnect, or switched from one device to another.”

However, reports provided to clients, such as 2oceansvibe, clearly label the numbers as ‘total listeners’. MyBroadband editor Rudolph Muller added that if NetDynamix figures are accurate, it would make 2oceansvibe and Ballz Visual Radio two of the top streaming radio stations in the world!

(Source : The Media Online, South Africa)

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