Points selected had either stop signs or traffic lights so that there was an opportunity for the interviewer to note (1) if the radio was on or off, and (2) number of occupants in car (men/women/children). By observation or question, the station tuned in was ascertainable. The results were issued in a report that presented in-home and automobile results separately. Station share data by time period was considered the most useful.
Seven Honolulu stations subscribed, and Myers was encouraged enough to try to expand the service to California in 1962-1963, but experiments in San Francisco, Fresno, and other cities were not successful in gaining support. 36 TRACE went through several ownership changes and eventually suspended operations in 1973 as station support dwindled.
The traffic interview procedure TRACE followed was used elsewhere, primarily in the ARMS methodology study (see Appendix D). It worked well in Honolulu in the 1950s and 1960s because car windows were generally open; mild climate and absence of car air conditioners saw to that. The technique would have limited utility in the U.S. today.
The TRACE service successfully served a special local market need employing a unique methodology. It was a carefully conducted survey operation and enjoyed accreditation by the Broadcast Rating Council for a number of years.
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Publication information: Book title: Audience Ratings:Radio, Television, and Cable. Contributors: Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. - Author. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers. Place of publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Publication year: 1985. Page number: 59.
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