New ratings book shows The Beat’s surprise gains disappear

In March, when Numeris last released its quarterly ratings, the numbers showed an unusual spike in listenership for The Beat 92.5 (CKBE-FM). It was several points above competitor Virgin Radio 96 and won in key demographics for the first time. For the station, it was a trend, a sign that changes including a new program director had brought more listening hours to them, and it was something that was likely to continue. For Virgin (CJFM-FM) and owner Bell Media, it was a fluke, a figure explained mainly by the fact that the rating period covered Christmas and The Beat tends to do better with Christmas music.

I said we’d know in the next ratings book which side was right. And in the numbers that came out from Numeris this month, it looks like it’s Bell.

What was a 5.7-point lead in overall (ages 2+) listening share has been cut by more than half to 2.1 points. The new numbers are more consistent with what The Beat has been showing over the past couple of years.

Not that this is such a horrible position to be in. It still leads overall (though both stations fall well behind CJAD among all anglophone listeners), and it has a larger reach than it did before. The station’s press release also points out that for the key advertiser-friendly demographic of adults 25-54, which has been mostly won by Virgin recently, The Beat is now better during the work day (9am to 5pm).

Bell Media’s press release, also republished below, notes that Virgin is top among anglos 25-54, and its morning and afternoon drive shows are “dominating” in those demos. And since Bell also owns all the other English-language commercial stations in Montreal, it notes that Bell Media overall has a 72.4% share among anglo listeners.

Among the other stations, there isn’t that much new. CJAD still dominates overall with a quarter of all anglo listening hours. TSN 690 had a good book, matching its spring 2014 share among all listeners thanks to a strong Canadiens playoff run. CBC Radio One is well within that range of 7-8.5% that it usually sits in. Radio Two had its worst rating in at least the past four years with a 1.5% share, though that could just as easily be statistical error as anything else.

Among francophone audiences, CHMP 98.5 still dominates, and The Beat barely edges Virgin in listening hours, though Virgin has the larger reach.

The Beat’s press release:

The Beat 92.5 is Montreal’s NUMBER ONE English Music Station

The Beat 92.5 is also the NUMBER ONE choice at work among Adults 25-54

Montreal, June11, 2015 – Following the publication today of the Numeris Spring 2015 survey results, The Beat 92.5 is celebrating its ranking as Montreal’s NUMBER ONE English music station for the 6th consecutive survey. 1

The Beat92.5 is also the NUMBER ONE choice for listening at work among all stations, with the majority of Montrealers 25-54 tuning in to Donna Saker and CJ from 9am to 5pm weekdays.2

Today’s results show a significant increase in our overall number of listeners, proof that our dedicated work in creating great radio is resonating with Montrealers”, says Sam Zniber, The Beat’s Program Director.  “We now reach over 1.8 million listeners, an impressive jump of more than 235,000 listeners from last year and 428,000 in the past 2 years. An overall increase of 23% in 24 months. 3

1 Source : Numeris, Montreal anglo, Monday to Sunday 2a-2a, Share, A2+, March 2nd to May 31st, 2015, CKBEFM

2 Source : Numeris, Montreal anglo, Monday to Friday 9a-5p, Share, A25-54,  March 2nd to May 31st, 2015, CKBEFM

3 Source : Numeris, Canada, Monday to Sunday 2a-2a, Share, A2+,  March 2nd to May 31st, 2015, February 24th to May 25th, 2014, February 25th to May 26th, 2013, CKBEFM

Bell Media’s press release:

MONTRÉAL (June 11, 2015) – According to the PPM data drawn from the Numeris surveys unveiled today, Bell Media is reaching more than 4 million listeners per week this spring through its stations NRJ Montréal 94.3, 107,3 Rouge fm, CJAD 800,Virgin Radio 96, CHOM 97 7, and TSN 690.1 These results also show that Bell Media is reaching nearly 80% of Montréal’s population, thereby reflecting these stations’ key relevance among listeners.3 

“Today’s Numeris results once again demonstrate the prominent role of Bell Media’s radio stations in Montréal’s radio landscape and the important place we have in our passionate listeners’ day-to-day lives,” said Patrick Jutras, Senior Vice-President, Bell Media Sales, Québec. “The survey is a source of both great pride and motivation for our entire team as they continue to exceed the ever-growing expectations of our valued advertisers.”

Together, Bell Media’s four English-language stations control 72.4 shares of the English-language commercial market among the A25-54 demo, up 10% from last winter. 2

Virgin Radio 96
Virgin Radio 96
is reaching a total of 2,026,000 listeners this spring, making it the #1 station in terms of reach. 1 Virgin Radio 96has also regained its position as Montréal’s highest-rated station in the A25-54 demo, controlling 28.5 shares of the English-language commercial market, up 15% from last winter. 2 Moreover, morning show FREEWAY & NATASHA IN THE MORNINGand evening rush hour show MARK BERGMAN both posted excellent results, each dominating their respective slot among English-speakers in the A25-54 demo.

CHOM 97 7

Meanwhile, CHOM 97 7 ranks third among Montréal’s highest-rated stations in the A25-54 demo, with 20.9 shares of the English-language commercial market, up 3% from last winter2. Boasting a total of 1,487,000 listeners1, this stations is the most popular among its target audience, namely English-speaking men aged 25 to 54, with 27.6 shares of the English-language commercial market (+9%).2

CJAD 800

CJAD 800 is reaching a total of 450,000 listeners1 this spring, securing 16.3 shares of the English-language commercial market among the A25-54 demo, up 4% from last winter. CJAD 800 also remains the #1 station among listeners aged 2 and over, with 32.3 shares of the English-language commercial market.2

TSN 690

Sports station TSN 690 boasts a total of 273,000 listeners1 and 6.7 shares of the English-language commercial market among the A25-54 demo, up 31% from last winter. 2

107,3 Rouge fm

Within Montréal’s French-language market, 107,3 Rouge fm boasts 2,061,000 listeners1 and 20.3 shares of the French-language commercial market among the A25-54 demo, up 11% from last winter. 2 This increase was even more significant among its target audience, as the station posted a 21% increase among the A35-44 demo.2

NRJ Montréal 94.3

NRJ Montréal 94.3 boasts 1,551,000 listeners1 this spring and 13.4 shares of the French-language commercial market among the A25-54 demo.2

The spring 2015 Numeris surveys were conducted from March 2 to May 31, 2015. For more information on these results, please watch the online webinar (in French only) which also showcases a media trend segment on Friday, June 12, starting at 3 p.m.

Sources : Numeris, 2 mars au 31 mai 2015

(1)   All 2+, Mo-Sun, 2a-2a, All Bell Media Radio stations or individually (CKMF, CITE, CJFM, CHOM, CJAD, CKGM), Full coverage, Weekly reach

(2)   A25-54/ A35-44/ M25-54, Mo-Sun, 2a-2a, 107,3 Rouge fm (CITE)/ NRJ 94.3 (CKMF)/ Virgin Radio (CJFM)/ CHOM 97.7 (CHOM)/ CJAD/ TSN Radio (CKGM), Montréal Franco/ Montréal Anglo, commercial shares (based on the hours generated by the commercial stations of the market)

(3)   All 2+, Mo-Sun, 2a-2a, Bell Media Radio (CKMF, CITE, CJFM, CHOMFM, CJAD, CKGM), Montréal total, Weekly reach


3 thoughts on “New ratings book shows The Beat’s surprise gains disappear

  1. Dilbert

    I would say that the Beat has a lot to be happy about here. They maintain their full audience advance, they do just as good with the Francophone audience and seem to have a somewhat more loyal audience on both sides – lower cume, but higher % share.

    Overall, the numbers at Bell remain pretty much the same, just distributed somewhat differently. Bell plays the cume game rather than the market share game, they seem to get a lot more sampling but perhaps fewer that truly stick on the stations. If anything, it would appear that their cross promotion between stations (like having TSN sports on all their other stations) is driving up the cumulative listener counts, but not the overall share in the market. I wonder if the advertisers actually like this, or think it’s just playing around counting the same heads more than once for the same company. Since the number of actual anglo listeners hasn’t gone up significantly, one can only assume they are shuffling listeners around station to station and building up the weekly cume numbers, and crowing about that. The downside for them is it suggests listeners may be less attached to the brand, perhaps one of the reasons why the Beat outperforms as the at work station.

  2. Dilbert

    On a different tack, I wonder what the effects of the new station out West and having Ted Bird there does overall… are they getting any traction and perhaps drawing away from listeners?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I wonder what the effects of the new station out West and having Ted Bird there does overall… are they getting any traction and perhaps drawing away from listeners?

      It’s not part of the report, so we don’t know for sure. I suspect any effect is minimal, though, since The Jewel has a different type of music and the signal can’t be heard well in most of the central Montreal area.


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