Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable

By Hugh Malcolm Beville Jr. | Go to book overview

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.


NOTES
1.
A parallel coincidental telephone survey was conducted in over 94,000 homes to develop listening data. Inasmuch as the results were somewhat inconsistent with the diary sample, they were not released. In 1934, telephone household penetration was only 31 percent nationally, and telephone interviews were limited to local call areas and therefore were not comparable to mailed diary distribution. Moreover, there is an essential difference between total half-hour listening and the average-minute measure produced by the coincidental.
2.
Garnet R. Garrison, "Research in Educational Broadcasting," Report of a Work-Study Group, Hugh Beville, chairman, Education on the Air 1940, p. 333.
3.
Lawrence Myers Jr., "An Examination of Television Audience Measurement Methods and an Application of Sequential Analysis to the Telephone Interview Method," doctoral thesis, Syracuse University, June 1956.
4.
Matthew N. Chappell and C. E. Hooper state: "The method is designed for one week in length rather than for continuous operation." ( New York: Stephen Daye, 1944) p. 22.
5.
Variety, May 12, 1943, p. 33.

-59-

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Audience Ratings: Radio, Television, and Cable
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Radio Services-- Pre-Tv (1930-1946) 1
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Radio Services--Post-Tv (1946-1984) 28
  • Notes 59
  • 3 - Television Services (1946-1984) 62
  • Notes 81
  • 4 - Rating Methodologies: A Comparative Examination 83
  • Notes 129
  • 5 - Quantitative Versus Qualitative Ratings 131
  • Notes 157
  • 6 - Cable Ratings (1979-1984) 160
  • Notes 183
  • 7 - Using Ratings Data 185
  • Notes 217
  • 8 - Ratings: Servant or Master? 219
  • Notes 240
  • 9 - Government Intervention 242
  • Notes 256
  • 10 - What We Have Learned: 1930-1984 258
  • Notes 270
  • 11 - A Look to the Future 271
  • Notes 292
  • Appendix A Ratings Basics: Terms, Calculations, and Relationships 294
  • Sources 299
  • Appendix B Offices and Services of Principal Syndicated Ratings Companies Operating on A National Basis 300
  • Appendix C Audience Measurement Highlights U.S. Total Population 304
  • Appendix D Methodological Studies and Assessments 315
  • Introduction 315
  • Bibliography 345
  • Index 351
  • About the Author 363
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