The third release wave of SAARF RAMS (Radio Audience Measurement Survey) sees listening levels growing across the week, and increased time spent listening to radio. The effects of seasonality are also beginning to become visible, thanks to the increased frequency of the survey.
This survey also contains new small town/village/rural data, as taken from the latest AMPS (All Media Productions Survey 2004), thus updating this component of radio listening.
SAARF RAMS 2004/3 (April-August) sees a change in the methodology, which, while minor, has yielded significant benefits in terms of the sample size. In the two previous flooded release waves, primary diary keepers were asked whether other adults in the household would be able to complete a radio diary. Diaries were then given to the primary respondent only for those household members. In the latest fieldwork period, diaries were automatically given to the primary respondent for all adults in the household, which has seen a considerable rise in the total number of diaries in the latest RAMS sample.
The RAMS sample is now 17 268 strong, with an additional 1211 diaries resulting from the above change.
Fieldwork took place from the end of April to mid-August, excluding June. Flooding occurred in metros, cities and large towns. 153 stations were measured, 135 qualified for reporting.
The population has been updated according to the 2004 Bureau for Market Research (BMR) estimates. Adults now number 30.310m, up from 29.773m in 2003. This update affects the gender proportion of the population (males are up from 47,9% to 49,5%, and females have declined from 52,1% to 50,5%).
This has not however, had any real impact on radio listenership. The proportion of male listeners has indeed grown (from 48,5% to 49,1%), but this is a growth of only 0,6%, as opposed to the 1,6% growth of males in the total population. Female radio listeners have declined slightly from 51,5% to 50,9%.
The SAARF Universal LSMs have been updated, with four of the previous 29 variables being replaced. The following variables have fallen out: living in a traditional hut; living in Gauteng or the Western Cape; and having mains electricity. The new variables are: living in a house/cluster house/town house; being a metropolitan dweller; having a DVD player; and having one cellphone in the household. The ability to track and compare SU-LSM data from previous surveys however, has not been compromised, since the 2004 SU-LSM group ranges have been adjusted so that the groups are comparable with previous SU-LSMs.
Small town/village/rural listening
With the release of AMPS 2004, a new 6-month small town/village/rural RAMS measure is now available. This data has been added to the April-August large urban data to produce this third release wave of RAMS (the small town/village/rural component is not flooded). The RAMS 2003B rural component was still used for RAMS 2004/1 and 2004/2.
This segment of radio listening is up significantly, and not because of any methodological change - this amounts to real growth for the sector. Time spent listening in rural areas is up 17 minutes in an average day.
Time spent listening
For the first time in several years, fieldwork for RAMS took place during the July school holidays. (Since the fieldwork for AMPS 2004 ended in early June, and only a few diaries were placed during June, July was included to avoid a large gap from occurring in the fieldwork.) Apart from a slight increase in some daytime slots, this has very little impact on both listening habits and the number of available listeners.
Time spent listening is indeed up, by 10 minutes per average day per listener. Time spent listening is now 4 hours 45 minutes per day (up from 4 hours 35 minutes in the previous period), and 33 hours 18 minutes per week (from 32 hours 6 minutes in the previous period).
National radio listening
In total, listening levels have grown significantly across the week (over the previous survey).
Past 7 days - 92,0% (up from 90,1% in the previous survey, RAMS 2004/2 Mar-May); up in metros, small towns/villages, Northern Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, amongst females, in the 16-24 and 50+ age groups, and in SU-LSM 1-4 and 9. Monday to Friday - 79,9% (up from 77,3% in RAMS 2004/2); up in metros, Northern Cape, Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, amongst females, in the 16-24 and 35+ age brackets, and in SU-LSM 1-4.
Saturday - 77,4% (up from 74,0% in the previous survey); up in metros, small towns/villages, rural, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, East London, amongst both males and females, in the 16-24 and 35-49 age groups, and in SU-LSM 5-6.
Sunday - 75,0% (up from 72,5% in the previous survey); up in metros, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, East London, amongst females, amongst those aged 16-24 and 50+, and in SU-LSM 9. (The Free State, Gauteng, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape showed an increase in actual listeners, while in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, the same listeners spent more time listening.)
Average day listening for individual stations is comparable with the previous period.
Below are those stations which have shown significant changes over the previous period (on a national level). (Listenership figures have only been shown where significant movements over RAMS 2004/2 Mar-May occurred).