BBM Canada released its fall 2012 ratings for metered markets (including Montreal) on Thursday. While members get detailed information from which they can spin all sorts of good news, the public gets an overall picture (PDF).
On the English side, there's the usual fluctuations. CHOM gains a point and a half compared to last year (but is down slightly in market share compared to the summer), and also has a larger overall audience than it did a year ago.
CJAD, Virgin and The Beat are also up slightly, and CBC Radio One has lost a bit.
Among francophone listeners, where anglo music stations actually have a larger audience than in English, CHOM has 30,000 more listeners on a daily basis than it did a year ago, and Virgin and The Beat have both lost a bit of ground.
I await their spin, revealing what nuggets of significant gains aren't being reflected in the overall ratings. (See below)
For TSN Radio (CKGM), there's no getting around the disappointing ratings period. The station has a 2.3% market share this fall, down from 4.0% a year ago. Its daily audience among anglos has dropped from 60,000 to 43,000. Even simulcasting on two frequencies hasn't been enough to compensate for the lack of NHL hockey.
The Beat falls among 25-54 demos
But those are for the total audience. What about the key 25-54 demographic, the people with money that advertisers want?
Astral Radio's BBM analysis (which is much more objective than its press releases) provides the answer:
CKBE (The Beat) has lost the gains it made this spring, falling back into third place overall behind CHOM. It has a 21% commercial market share among adults 25-54, compared to CHOM's 25% and Virgin's 32%. Much of that loss is among men, where it had spiked to 22% in the spring but is now back at 16%. Among women, it's gone down slightly, but Virgin's lead has increased from four points to 13 points.
Its morning show has dropped back into fourth place after barely reaching second in the spring, with fewer than 7,000 listeners in the average minute (Virgin's morning show has more than 10,000 listeners) among adults 25-54. Late mornings and lunch hour have dropped from first to third, and early afternoons dropped from first to second behind Virgin. Its drivetime show also dropped from second to third after losing about a quarter of its audience from the spring. On weekends, it was third before and remains so.
Perhaps the most telling statistic is average listening time: 3.1 hours per week, putting it behind CJAD, CHOM and Virgin, which are all between 4 and 4.5 hours a week.
Overall, it's an awful ratings period for The Beat, bringing them back to what they were at before their notable gains in the spring. That explains why their press release (below) doesn't mention any numbers.
CJFM (Virgin Radio) is still No. 1 in most key demographics. Among women 25-54, they're at 41% market share. Its biggest gain is in late mornings and early afternoons, where Nikki Balch and Ryan Seacrest respectively have picked up almost 3,000 average-minute listeners from the spring. Virgin also made significant gains at morning and afternoon drive. It's now the top station during the morning rush and from 11am to 8pm weekdays among adults 25-54.
Its strength remains in younger audiences - the top nine shows among adults 18-34 are all on Virgin.
CHOM still gets to brag that it's No. 1 among men, and its market share among men 25-54 has gone up to 35%, though much of that probably has to do with the lack of hockey pushing TSN Radio listeners back to their backup radio option. CHOM has also jumped ahead of The Beat for second place among all adults 25-54.
The morning show with Terry DiMonte and Heather Backman now has about 10,000 listeners 25-54 in the average minute, good for second place after being behind The Beat and CJAD in different ratings periods. It continues a steady climb from 8,000 a year ago and 7,000 the year before that. CHOM's morning show audience has grown 50% in two years, but still isn't the high peak of the day. Among men 25-54, there are only about half as many listeners at 7am as there are at 11am.
Tootall had a great ratings report, with the late morning part of his show gaining 20% audience since the spring and now the top-rated show at CHOM. The lunch hour and afternoon parts had more modest gains. The afternoon drive show with Bilal Butt gained slightly to its highest average-minute audience in two years, but it's still a distant second to Virgin and mired in a tight three-way race with The Beat and CJAD. Even among men 25-54, the show struggles to compete with Virgin and CJAD.
On weekends, CHOM dipped slightly, but it's still a clear second, and it's fighting with Virgin for top spot among men 25-54 on weekend afternoons.
CJAD's numbers didn't change much. Astral brags about its high-rated morning show, but it's still third among adults 25-54 (its strength is earlier in the morning, and it dominates the ratings until about 7am). The lunchtime show with Ric Peterson made a significant jump from 2,500 to 3,500 listeners in the demo (but still well behind the three music stations), and the afternoon drive show with Aaron Rand also gained more than a thousand listeners in the 25-54 demo. Rather than fighting TSN for fourth place, it's fighting CHOM and The Beat for second.
Among all audiences, CJAD is still the top rated station among English listeners, and has the five top-rated shows.
CKGM (TSN 690) is clearly wishing for hockey to come back. Among men 25-54, it has a 7% market share, about half what it did a year ago. Every major time slot is down, and its hopes of competing with CJAD in some of them (notably afternoon drive) are gone for now.
Radio X disappoints
On the French side, not much has changed from a year ago. CHMP 98.5 is still the No. 1 station with a 22.5% market share, followed by CFGL (Rythme FM, 18.6%), CITE (Rouge FM, 12.3%, up more than two points from a year ago) and CBF (Première Chaîne, 11.3%).
NRJ (CKMF) and CKOI continue to be stuck in the single digits, with CKOI hitting a new market share low of 5.7%, even though it's third-highest in total weekly audience reach. At this point, CKOI barely beats out classical music station CJPX, which has grown a point and a half in French and gained 30,000 daily listeners since last year.
NRJ's market share is 7.1%, down from 10.3% a year ago.
The most interesting information on the franco side concerns CKLX-FM 91.9, which went from being Planète Jazz to Radio X this fall. Reports that ratings had actually dropped as a result of the change have turned out to be true. Planète Jazz had a 1.3% market share, 64,300 daily listeners and 902,800 weekly listeners a year ago. In the summer, it had a 1.2% share, 62,700 daily listeners and 944,800 weekly listeners. But in its first ratings period as Radio X, it has a 0.8% market share, 54,500 daily listeners and 640,100 weekly listeners.
Radio X, in other words, has only 2/3 the audience that Planète Jazz had, after a programming change designed to bring in more listeners.
Radio X, owned by RNC Media, will counter that this kind of change takes time to build an audience, though that's not necessarily true.
To be fair, it also made some gains in the key 25-54 demos. Its morning show and afternoon drive gained quite a bit, while early afternoons took a nosedive. Weekends show a significant increase during the hours when it airs rock music (we're still waiting for a CRTC decision on an application to strip it of its specialty jazz status - until then it has to devote 70% of its music to the jazz/blues format).
Overall, though, the station's ratings are very poor, behind even Radio Classique (CJPX) and fighting for last place with Radio Circulation (CKAC).
Big gains for Radio Classique
While not much has changed for the other commercial radio stations in French in Montreal, there's a noticeable increase in the ratings for CJPX Radio Classique, particularly among men.
Consider this: During the lunch hour, it had 630 average-minute listeners this spring, but 4,730 this fall, an astounding increase of 651%. It had similar jumps during all hours of the day, except afternoon drive where it saw a mere doubling of audience.
It makes sense to assume that Radio Classique picked up many former Planète Jazz listeners, but its increases are larger than CKLX's entire audience was. Is there something else at play here, or is this just a case of sampling error spouting out random variation in small numbers?
Either way, Radio Classique beats out Radio X in all time periods among the 25-54 demo. Radio Classique's overall commercial market share among 25-54 is 3%, up from 1% in the spring.
More ratings coverage
- Broadcaster Magazine has 12+ numbers for Montreal (with English and French counted together).
- La Presse notes that while CHMP 98.5 is still No. 1 in Montreal, Radio-Canada Première Chaîne has made huge gains here.
- The Journal de Montréal focuses on the disappointing ratings for Radio X. It also says that CKOI is showing signs of growth in ratings despite yet another disappointing quarter.
CHMP 98.5: No. 1 station; morning host Paul Arcand has 32.1% market share; big gains for late morning host Isabelle Maréchal. Mentions CKAC, but not Cogeco's other stations (Rythme FM, CKOI and The Beat)
The Beat: A review of their promotional activities this fall, with no mention of their actual ratings numbers:
For immediate release
December 6, 2012
92.5 The Beat’s Strong Market Presence in the Fall Pays Off
Radio station covers Montreal with marketing campaign and fun stunts
Montreal, December 6, 2012 – Following today’s publication of BBM survey results for fall 2012, 92.5 The Beat is being rewarded for a fall season filled with endless fun and heavy promotional activity.
92.5 The Beat spoiled the city with non-stop action both on the air and on the streets.
In September, The Beat celebrated its 1st anniversary and invited more than 1000 listeners to The Beat Birthday Bash on October 4th at Metropolis. The event featured live performances by musical artists Sean Kingston, Karl Wolf and Anjulie.
View photo album:
In October, The Beat pulled off The Great Pumpkin Drop, where thousands of spectators witnessed Canada’s largest pumpkin – weighing 1,753 lb – hurl to the ground in a spectacular smash as part of a Halloween stunt.
View photo album:
In November, The Beat hosted Montreal’s first ever Prostate Partyfor Movember, where Beat Breakfast announcer Cat Spencer had a prostate exam live on-air and held a free cancer screening clinic for its male listeners.
View photo album:
Also in November, The Beat launched The One Million Dollar Snowfall Contest – a first in Montreal radio. The probability contest could win one listener $1,000,000 for guessing a correct snow accumulation date in December.
“We could not be happier with these results”, says Leo Da Estrela, The Beat’s Program Director. “Our on-going presence in the market was felt by everyone this fall, and now that sentiment has been validated.”
In addition to the stunts and contests, The Beat ran aggressive marketing campaigns via outdoor advertising on billboards, buses, metros as well as on TV and in print.
To share this release: http://tiny.cc/q4tuow
About 92.5 The Beat
Weekdays feature The Beat Breakfast with Cat Spencer & Sarah Bartok, The Beat of Your Workday with Donna Saker (9am to 4pm), DriveTime with Cousin Vinny (4pm to 8pm) and Paul Hayes (Monday to Thursday 8pm to 11pm). Weekends include Weekend Breakfast (Saturday and Sunday 6am-10am), All-Access Weekend with Anne Marie Withenshaw (Saturday 10am-12pm) and Feel Good Weekends with Nat Lauzon (Saturday and Sunday 12pm-4pm), as well as party music Friday and Saturday night with TB1.
Part of the Cogeco Radio network, 92.5 The Beat is Montreal’s only English-language Adult Contemporary station targeting women 25-44.
ABOUT COGECO DIFFUSION
Cogeco Diffusion, one of Québec’s largest radio broadcasters, is a subsidiary of COGECO Inc., a diversified communications company with subordinate voting shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CGO). Cogeco Diffusion operates thirteen (13) radio stations across Québec including: Rythme FM, CKOI FM, 98.5 fm, 92.5 The Beat and Radio Circulation 730 AM in Montréal; FM 93 and 102.9 FM in Québec City; CIME FM in Saint-Jérôme; Rythme FM Sherbrooke as well as Rythme FM Trois Rivières. Cogeco Diffusion also operates Cogeco News, one of Québec’s largest news agencies, feeding 24 affiliate, independent and community radio stations and also owns Cogeco Métromédia outdoor.
Source : BBM Data, Montreal English, Mo-Su 2a-2a, A25-54, CKBE FM, Fall 2012 (August 27th to November 25th 2012).
Astral: Points out that Virgin is the top-rated English station in Montreal (overall if you include French listeners, but also among adults 25-54), says CHOM is highest-rated (and improving) among men 25-54, CJAD is the top morning show and French stations have made gains.
BBM Fall 2012 Surveys
Thanks to its 3,152,000 Montreal listeners, Astral Radio reaches 82% of the Montreal population!
Montreal, December 6, 2012 – The Fall 2012 BBM/PPM Survey results for August 27 to November 25 once again demonstrate the leadership of Astral Radio, which reaches no less than 82% of the Montreal population, thanks to the 3,152,000 listeners to its stations CJAD 800 AM, Virgin Radio 96, CHOM 97 7, NRJ Montréal 94.3 and 107,3 Rouge fm. In total, over 5,787,000 people listen to Astral Radio’s Quebec stations each week, making it the number one radio broadcaster in Quebec!
Virgin Radio 96 showed extraordinary results this fall with a grand total of 1,996,000 listeners and 31.7 share of the adult 25-54 market (an increase of 13%), making it the number one English station in Montreal! Also once again, Freeway & Natasha in the Morning takes the prize for most listened to radio station for women between 25 and 54 years old. Isabelle Racicot, a newcomer on Virgin Radio 96, had the two editions of her weekend show Virgin Hit 20 hit first place with adults 25-54 years old.
For its part, CHOM 97 7 recorded 1,569,000 listeners and 25.2 share in Montreal’s English commercial market, an increase of 8%. The station is still number one with men 25-54 years old, recording a strong 15% increase with this target group.
Meanwhile, CJAD 800 AM counts a total of 336,000 listeners, in addition to earning 17.0 share of the commercial market, an increase of 5%. The Andrew Carter Morning Show is once again the most listened to English morning show with listeners 25-54 years old and over, cornering a 23 share of market.
In total, Astral’s three English stations hold no less than 73.9% of the commercial market with adults 25-54 years old.
In the French market this fall, NRJ Montréal 94.3 has a total of 1,923,000 listeners, also earning 13.4 share of the commercial market with adults 25-54 years old, pulling ahead of its main competitor CKOI by over 3 shares of the market. The show Les Grandes Gueules et Richard Turcotte remains once again the number one afternoon drive show1, with its 1,424,000 listeners. The NRJ network reaches 2,766,000 listeners, in addition to recording 11,469,000 listening hours.
Finally, 107,3 Rouge fm has 2,220,000 listeners on top of earning 18.1 share of the commercial market for adults 25-54 years old. 107,3 Rouge fm is also the station that saw the most important increase in reach this autumn in the Montreal central market. What’s more, Rouge fm is the number one network in Quebec, in both reach (3,051,000 listeners) and time spent listening (14,255,000).
For more detailed information on the BBM survey results, please visit sondage.astralradio.ca.
Astral Radio would like to take this opportunity to offer its warmest thanks to its many listeners for their great loyalty, as well as the precious advertisers who enable it to maintain its leadership in the radio market.
Source : BBM Radio Meter (Infosys), August 27th to November 25th 2012, Montréal Central, Mo-Su 2a-2a, A2+, Weekly Reach (000 & %).
BBM Radio Meter (Infosys), August 27th to November 25th 2012, Mo-Su 2a-2a, Weekly Reach in Full Coverage A2+ & Commercial Market Shares in A25-54 in Montréal Franco and Anglo markets.
1Network Results: BBM Radio Meter (Diary), Fall’12, A12+, Mo-Su 5a-1a and BBM Radio Meter (Infosys), August 27th to November 25th’2012, A2+, Mo-Su 2a-2a; Full Coverage, Weekly Reach (000) and Weekly Hours.
Founded in 1961, Astral one of Canada's largest media companies. It operates several media properties—pay and specialty television, radio, out-of-home advertising and digital media properties—among the most popular in the country. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers alike. To learn more about Astral, go to astral.com.
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Update: Infopresse has posted the report from Cogeco Force Radio, which includes some more information about ratings at different times of day.