Who Is Listening?
As early as 1929, the question of listen-ership was of interest to broadcasters and advertisers alike. That year Cooperative Analysis of Broadcasting (CAB), headed by Archibald M. Crossley, undertook a study to determine how many people were tuned to certain network radio programs. Information was gathered by phoning a preselected sample of homes. One of the things the survey found was that the majority of listening occurred evenings between 7:00 and 11:00 P.M. This became known as radio's “prime time” until the 1950s.
On the local station level, various methods were employed to collect audience data, including telephone interviews and mail-out questionnaires. However, only a nominal amount of actual audience research ...