(via FastStats approved partner - Aszent Ltd)

Using FastStats to understand listener attitudes and behaviours


Global Radio is the UK's premier radio company and the home of the UK's leading commercial radio brands. Global Radio boasts the number 1, 2 and 3 commercial radio brands in the UK, with Heart, Classic FM and Galaxy respectively. With over 18 million listeners on air, Global covers every genre and geographical area with simplicity and clarity for both the listener and the advertiser.


Global Radio invested in a new independent division, Insight, three years ago for the purpose of developing audience loyalty and revenue through listener understanding. As well as developing and growing the Global Radio listener database, the team is tasked with developing a series of initiatives, designed to enhance the on- and off-air relationship between stations' brands and their audiences, including text and database management, to deliver against sales and marketing targets of the Global stations.

In Aszent's opinion the FastStats.NET system provides the best remote access solution available because it is built from the ground up using Microsoft .net technology.

With the growth of media channels available within the radio marketplace there is now greater listener choice in terms of how they listen and interact with radio brands, including DAB, internet radio, pod casting and Mobile. In order to understand the different interactions between the listener and the brand a holistic view of listener interaction profile with the different media channels is needed. This will allow Global Radio to understand listener attitudes and behaviours.

Aszent Ltd provide a series of services and solutions for Global ranging from database build and hosting, to partner and new business development strategy, helping their client to monetise the data in various ways:

  • Data partnerships with specific brands
  • Deep analytics to design engagement activities
  • Data strategy – which data is important and how to collect it


The advent of additional media and new entertainment channels meant that Global was noticing a decline in listening hours and listening audience volumes across traditional radio. Global has always been at the forefront of "listener engagement" but was unable to identify most loyal or actively engaged listeners, in order to be able to recruit more.

There were two sets of objectives specific to this project: firstly, to build a future-proofed, low risk, high return SLV database/CRM platform that delivers the second, business imperative set of objectives:

  • To increase the levels of engagement between the listener and Global Radio station brands, to demonstrate listener loyalty
  • To increase the commercial value of the database by developing an insight rich, behaviourally attractive listener profile

The platform was to be built in such a way that IT intervention was minimised; also, the front-end tools had to be simple and straightforward, not necessitating specialist staff to be recruited in order to make use of the database.

In order to achieve the primary objective Aszent investigated two CRM platforms suitable for Global’s requirements.


Aszent designed and built a Single Listener View database using Apteco’s FastStats product for Global, the first of its kind in the industry, harnessing the listener information from across all interaction points. FastStats was chosen because of its ability to be utilised by non-technical staff. It was also more cost-efficient than other software.

The solution involves scripting extract routines that take the listening and listener data from all of the channels (mobile, web, etc); cleans and matches it to the listener Unique ID created from the base data. Any records that are not matched are added as new records and a matchkey created for them.

Aszent receive nightly incremental feeds from the various sources via automated FTP transfer. These are then used to build an intermediary single listener view database in SQL Server. That database is then loaded into FastStats. The solution is sited at Aszent with access provided to Global via the internet. This worked out to be the most most-effective solution.

In order to minimise reliance upon IT Aszent wrote all of the ETL scripts and devised the templates for the various service suppliers with which to deliver their data.

Because this is a nightly process Aszent have built in a failsafe device, which means that if the data loaded is not complete or erroneous, the database reverts to its previous iteration and Aszent are alerted via email and text that something has failed. Aszent then investigate and rebuild the database. Aszent run development servers with a mirror of the live Global database so that they can test the revision of scripts, new releases and patches, etc to minimise impact in the live environment.


Global Radio have a flexible, low-risk, scalable CRM platform which enabled them to test the water without having to implement enterprise solutions, thus making the Proof of Concept realisable in terms of ROI and payback.

In Aszent's opinion the FastStats.NET system provides the best remote access solution available because it is built from the ground up using Microsoft .net technology, which is designed to allow communication between client and server applications over the internet. The self-installing small footprint client application provides full functionality on the user’s desktop integrating with other Office applications running on the PC.

Future plans

The database will continue to be evolved and its value increased through the addition of other sources of data, e.g. telephone callers, survey data, etc. Aszent will be building a segmentation framework for Global based upon determining a scale of engagement, from "influencers" through to "detractors". Aszent have been asked to build a second database whereby specific listening tracking data will be held and utilised for deep analytics.

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