History

Roy Morgan Research

From wartime to big time

“Should the Communist Party be banned
or should it continue to be legal?”

Founded by Roy Morgan in 1941, in the midst of WWII, Roy Morgan Research has never shied away from asking the questions that matter. The question above, asked in a 1946 poll, not long after the war had finished, shows an early foray into public opinion; since then, the Company has become synonymous with precise and insightful research into ever-changing social trends, attitudes and consumer habits.

The longest established and best known market research company in Australia, Roy Morgan Research has remained proudly independent through the decades.

With that independence, comes research free of hidden agendas — our respected Morgan Poll being an obvious example. This unerring, unbiased measure of the political climate has generated countless headlines over the years and caused politicians to quake in their boots.

The Morgan Poll has also been instrumental in reporting public opinion on topical social issues, such as the IVF and ‘test-tube baby’ debate of the 70s and 80s. Our constant coverage of Australians’ support for IVF raised awareness and paved the way for wider acceptance of this revolutionary fertility treatment. (In the US, on the other hand, public resistance to IVF took longer to shift.)

Market research leaders

While Roy Morgan Research started life specialising in public opinion, corporate image and media measurement, we gradually expanded to cover all aspects of market research with information gathering via personal interviews, telephone, online and self-administered questionnaires.

We are increasingly integrating clients’ own or third-party data with our Single Source data. For example, many clients import their detailed advertising expenditure which can then be graphed against the Recall, Brand Linkage and other metrics in our Ad Tracking reports.

Through the decades

“I have been watching you work for years, and know how abundantly worthwhile it has been.”

Since renowned Australian academic Sir Walter Murdoch wrote these words to Roy Morgan in 1963, the company has gone from strength to strength, consistently setting the standard for market research in Australia and the world.

1940s

  • Established by Roy Morgan as a public opinion polling and consumer research
    company, being affiliated ultimately with Gallup International.

1970s

  • Established first face-to-face Omnibus in Australia
  • Began collecting readership figures for publishers and agencies (now acknowledged as the currency for Readership in Australia)

1980s

  • Developed ground-breaking Roy Morgan Values Segments*
  • Set up collection of warehouse withdrawals data
  • Formed Joint Venture with AC Nielsen to provide electronic measurement of the Australian television viewing audience
  • Established Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) system

1990s

  • Trialled Australia’s first TV ‘people meters’ 
  • Roy Morgan Single Source (the world’s most extensive single source survey) launched in Australia and New Zealand
  • Sold our share in AC Nielsen
  • ASTEROID data analysis software launched
  • ‘The Worm’ measured minute-by-minute audience response to televised Keating vs Hewson election debate
  • Started tracking the rise of the Internet with Australia’s first machine-based online data collection

2000s

  • Roy Morgan Single Source introduced in Indonesia
  • Roy Morgan Single Source data set up in US and UK
  • Established Young Australians Survey, an ongoing study of children aged 6-13
  • Online and mobile ‘Reactor’ developed to measure effectiveness of advertising on the Internet, TV, radio and other media
  • Introduced Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) for face-to-face interviewing
  • Roy Morgan Research data used for Channel Ten program Can of Worms
  • Launched Web Audience Measurement (WAM)
  • Conducted Global Survey highlighting the need for Cancer Prevention campaigns in Association with Gallup International

2010s

*Devised by Michele Levine of Roy Morgan Research and Colin Benjamin of the Horizons Network.

Roy Morgan Research