Virgin Radio branding hasn’t helped CJFM’s ratings

Virgin 96

Though everyone at what used to be Mix 96 was really excited about owner Astral Media stripping out their (admittedly lame and generic) branding to replace it with one they bought form the British, ratings figures since CJFM’s new brand launch in January have shown little change for the station.

BBM figures for Dec. 1 to March 1 (PDF) using their new fancy-shmancy portable people meters show it has 16% of the anglo Montreal market, putting it behind powerhouse CJAD but ahead of its direct competition. Over the past few years, CJFM’s share of the anglo market has drifted between 13% and 20%. There was a slight uptick compared to figures from before the relaunch, resulting in about 8,000 more daily listeners, or an increase of about 1%. But that’s still well within the usual margin for error in radio ratings.

If Astral expected an audience jump from the change, it didn’t get one. But there wasn’t a widespread abandonment of the station either. When it comes down to it, people don’t care about the branding, so long as the music is the same.

For the French side of the recent radio ratings, Le Devoir has the numbers.

5 thoughts on “Virgin Radio branding hasn’t helped CJFM’s ratings

  1. Josh

    So then, what’s the incentive for any of them to maintain local DJs and weather and traffic personalities, etc. (as you’re always getting on them about)?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      The weather/traffic stuff hasn’t changed at all with the new branding. It would be interesting to see if the ratings for the evenings have changed since they replaced local programming with Ryan Seacrest.

  2. Josh

    I just mean this as a general comment. If the ratings are basically the same as they were before (and as you say, people only care about what kind of music they’re playing), what’s the incentive for local content? And why should anyone be listening to the many, many posts you’ve made pleading for radio stations (and other media too – but let’s just stick to this for now) to stay local?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      You make a good point. I’m sure people will still listen to Seacrest. Being popular isn’t the same as being good, and in the long term stuff like this hurts more than it helps.

  3. chad

    I agree with Josh on this one so no offence to you Fagstein if you think Virgin Radio 96 is reminding you too much of a Toronto or American look alike on the face of Montreal.


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