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SAARF has decided to draw up some answers to questions that have been asked about the recent change in the AMPS methodology to Double Screen CAPI or DS-CAPI.

1. When did SAARF start to look into changing the methodology?

The process started back in 2007 when international expert Erhard Meier did an audit of the AMPS survey. Although impressed with the quality of the survey, he recommended a change to DS-CAPI due to the complexity of the AMPS survey.

2. Did SAARF consult its stakeholders?

Industry stakeholders and in particular those representing Print media were consulted and agreed that it was time to improve the methodology as the old single screen CAPI had distinct weak points compared to DS-CAPI.

3. Was DS-CAPI part of the recent AMPS tender?

The switch to the new methodology was one of the most important new requirements of the last AMPS tender.

4. Is DS-CAPI a new methodology?

DS-CAPI has been in use for the past 20 years by the National Readership Survey in the UK which is regarded as the leader in Print research in the world. It has also been used by other leaders in the field of media audience research such as France and Belgium.

5. Why has it not been implemented in other countries?

Chiefly because it is more expensive than single screen CAPI, for obvious reasons. However, more and more countries will change to more advanced methodologies in future as the cost differential has been shrinking.

6. Why did SAARF wait so long to implement this methodology?

As already stated, chiefly because of the cost. When the decision was made to go to single screen CAPI in 2001, the financial resources were not available at the time.

7. Why did SAARF not do large scale testing of the new methodology?

Firstly, SAARF did conduct tests where it was necessary. However, it must be remembered that the use of CAPI is not anything new for SAARF. We have nearly 10 years of experience with CAPI and have refined it continuously through the years. In addition, we had detailed recommendations from Erhard Meier and could learn from the experiences of other countries.

8. How did the interviewers react to this new technology?

SAARF's interviewers are professionals that have been using CAPI since 2001. The acceptance was not only good but interviewers are virtually unanimous in their opinion that it is much better than the previous method.

9. What about respondents?

Naturally tests were conducted to establish whether any problems would come up with respondents. However it was found that due to the fact that respondents do not have to touch the laptop, but only needed to view the show material on the screen, they actually enjoyed the experience a lot more than the previous method.

In fact, interviewers were of the opinion that respondents were much more engaged due to the full colour screens than using the outdated and tortuous manual shuffle cards and other hard copy show material.

10. Were interviewers (and respondents) scared of the new technology?

It is laughable to think that computer literate interviewers would be scared of something that they have been using for years and that is now much more manageable from an interviewer’s point of view.

Possible respondent fears were preempted by piloting and careful planning of the interviewing process which does not require the respondent to use or even touch the laptop computer. All that is required from the respondent is that he/she watches the screen which is exactly like watching TV – scary indeed!

11. Why was the change from manual shuffle cards to onscreen display of mastheads not piloted?

A vast amount of testing has been done about the use of onscreen mastheads and SAARF did not need to reinvent the wheel. There is no doubt that especially for magazines, where title confusion is a real problem, it is reduced by showing such magazines on the same screen.

12. Is it not odd that so many titles have a different readership after the change?

Everyone involved realized that there would be changes. In fact it would make no sense to change to a new and improved methodology and then get the same results!

However, what is heartening about the change is that the readership of 70% of magazines and 73% of newspapers has shown no significant change.

13. Was there any consultation with stakeholders before the data was released?

The SAARF AMPS Scrutiny Committee, including Print media owners, advertising/media agencies as well as marketers scrutinized the new DS-CAPI data in advance of the Industry release. Council members were given the opportunity to evaluate the changes and then approved the release to the Industry.

14. What lies ahead for us as an industry as far as DS-CAPI is concerned?

SAARF believes in a philosophy of continuous improvement and this is just the start of a new chapter. Naturally as with previous methodologies, SAARF intends to work on possible ways of improving the methodology even further.

We learn from every AMPS survey that we conduct and are already in the process of identifying possible future improvements.


Copyright 2017