Fall radio ratings show status quo in Montreal

Montreal anglo radio ratings (2+, central market). Click for larger version.

Montreal anglo radio ratings (2+, central market). Click for larger version.

PPM radio ratings came out this week. And while there isn’t much that’s headline-grabbing on the anglo side, there’s a few things I noticed that are worth mentioning.

The top-line numbers show that, once again, CJAD is the most popular radio station among anglophone listeners. No shock there. And when you look at the chart above, you can see that over time their share has actually grown. Its their fourth consecutive book above 25%, after years of never getting above 25.2%.

Among the music stations, The Beat is once again the most popular overall (among both anglophones and francophones), but among the important demographic of adults 25-54, Virgin Radio beats it by five points, and the trend is in Virgin’s favour. Among younger adults (18-34), Virgin beats The Beat by nine points.

Among men 25-54, CHOM is still tops with a 28% share, but that barely edges out Virgin. TSN Radio 690 has only a 6% share among this group, a third of CJAD’s.

CBC Radio One, which peaked in the fall of 2014, has been declining since, with a 6.5% share overall. CBC Radio Two is at 1.5%, the third consecutive quarter at that level or below after being above it for at least four years.

One thing that Numeris has changed about how it reports to the public is that it’s now including overall average minute audience for the stations. This is useful because it gives an indication of how many people are actually listening to the station on average, and if the total number of people listening to radio goes down, so does this number.

Here’s how many anglophone listeners (ages 2+) each station has on average in the Montreal area, 24 hours a day, rounded to the nearest hundred:

  1. CJAD: 15000
  2. CKBE-FM (The Beat): 9400
  3. CJFM-FM (Virgin): 8700
  4. CHOM-FM: 6300
  5. CBME-FM (Radio One): 3500
  6. CKGM (TSN 690): 2200
  7. CFGL-FM (Rythme): 1100
  8. CHMP-FM (98.5): 1000
  9. CJPX-FM (Classique): 900
  10. CBM-FM (Radio Two): 800
  11. CKOI-FM: 700
  12. CITE-FM (Rouge): 600
  13. CKMF-FM (Énergie): 500
  14. CBF-FM (Première): 300
  15. CBFX-FM (Musique): 100
  16. CKAC (Circulation): 100
  17. CKLX-FM (91.9 Sport): 0

And francophone listeners:

  1. CHMP-FM (98.5): 38600
  2. CFGL-FM (Rythme): 29100
  3. CITE-FM (Rouge): 20000
  4. CBF-FM (Première): 16800
  5. CKOI-FM: 14600
  6. CKBE-FM (The Beat): 9900
  7. CKMF-FM (Énergie): 9800
  8. CJFM-FM (Virgin): 7800
  9. CHOM-FM: 6700
  10. CJPX-FM (Classique): 5100
  11. CBFX-FM (Musique): 4400
  12. CKLX-FM (91.9 Sport): 2000
  13. CJAD: 900
  14. CBM-FM (Radio 2): 700
  15. CKAC (Circulation): 500
  16. CBME-FM (Radio 1): 400
  17. CKGM (TSN 690): 200

Note that this is an average throughout a 24-hour day, so the numbers during peak hours will be much higher than this.

The pattern is similar in both languages: A news-talk station well ahead, followed by music stations and CBC/Radio-Canada, then music stations in the other language and talk stations in the other language.

The fact that The Beat has slightly more francophone listeners than franco music station Énergie (which just underwent a rebranding and schedule shuffle) adds to the evidence that francophones in Montreal don’t want to listen to radio stations handcuffed by their obligation to air francophone music.

Dayparts

Bell Media’s sales people do their quarterly breakdown of the numbers, looking at which commercial (i.e. ad-selling) stations are ahead among 25-54 audiences at various parts of the day:

  • Weekday mornings 6-10: Virgin still has the lead, while The Beat has lost a third of the audience it reported in the winter book, dropping to fourth place behind CHOM and CJAD.
  • Weekdays 10-12, 12-1, 1-4: In all three of these at-work time periods, Virgin has climbed back above The Beat to become the at-work station. CJAD has also had a noticeable increase in audience at this time.
  • Weekdays 4-7: Only small fluctuations for these hours. The order is still the same: Virgin, The Beat, CHOM, CJAD, TSN 690 and Radio Two.
  • Weekends: Also no change here. Same order as weekday afternoons.

Montreal’s French market

On the other side of the language divide, there’s been some major changes this fall. NRJ rebranded as Énergie and changed its lineup. The station once known as Planète Jazz and Radio X has relaunched yet again, this time as 91.9 Sport. And Radio Classique has changed its lineup following its sale to Gregory Charles.

Only one of those changes has made a difference in the ratings: 91.9 Sport saw its audience among young adults (18-34) spike, from 1% to 4%. But overall the needle hasn’t moved much for that station from where it was under its previous incarnations.

CKOI saw a noticeable increase in its daytime audience. But otherwise there’s not much in this ratings report to write about.

Elsewhere

In Quebec’s other markets, whose top-line data was released last week, there’s a lot more interesting changes to note:

  • CHOI Radio X lost half its audience from a year ago
  • Énergie’s morning show went from 8th to first in Quebec City on the strength of former Radio X personality Stéphan Dupont
  • When Énergie moved Jeff Fillion from the noon hour to afternoon drive, the audience moved with him. The noon hour lost 10,000 out of 15,000 listeners (25-54) when he moved, while the afternoon drive gained more than 6,000 listeners.
  • Énergie is way up (particularly among women) and Rouge FM is way down in the Ottawa-Gatineau region
  • Rythme FM took a tumble in the Trois-Rivières market, ceding first place in many demos to Énergie

If you want to explore the numbers for yourself, you can see Bell’s analysis here or watch their francophone webinar:

12 thoughts on “Fall radio ratings show status quo in Montreal

  1. Dilbert

    I was thinking that these ratings may be the answer to why Evanov dumped the Radio Fierte format… They didn’t even make a noted impact on the market.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      I was thinking that these ratings may be the answer to why Evanov dumped the Radio Fierte format… They didn’t even make a noted impact on the market.

      Radio Fierté was never included in the BBM data, so it’s hard to say what their ratings were, but an educated guess is they didn’t make much of a splash.

      Reply
  2. Margaret Sjoholm-Franks

    it’s easy to be the most popular when there is no other option..I tune in a 7:30 to listen to Jean Lapierre while I have breakfast…other than that it’s like listening to Rush Limbaugh and the likes from south of the border…thanks God for internet radio

    Reply
  3. Webfil

    « The fact that The Beat has slightly more francophone listeners than franco music station Énergie (which just underwent a rebranding and schedule shuffle) adds to the evidence that francophones in Montreal don’t want to listen to radio stations handcuffed by their obligation to air francophone music. »

    … or maybe is it that people who really wants to listen to music (and not some background noise) nowadays turn off their radio and connect their modems to the Interwebs?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      or maybe is it that people who really wants to listen to music (and not some background noise) nowadays turn off their radio and connect their modems to the Interwebs?

      Why would that cause an English radio station to have a higher share among francophones than a French one?

      Reply
  4. Marc

    Radio Classique has become unlistenable since Gregory Charles put his plan in action a couple months ago. Was much better before.

    I have a feeling CHRF (Evanov) will be called on the carpet for pulling the plug on their format, which they requested an extension and frequency change for.

    Reply
  5. Mario D.

    I t would be nice if CJAD had any kind of competition. The fact that it is the only one who can claim to be the king of the hill does not force management to give us the best product available.

    Tsn`s ratings may be going down the hill from now on not only because of poor decisions with on air and off air personalities but also because on the french side they now have competition and will lose listeners gradually as their niche is quite specific.

    Funny how on the french side CKOI and Energy who are struggling after being on top for so many years are both now claiming and advertising themselves as playing rock music…The teenage audience is gone ? lol. They will find it difficult now because as they say, CHOM rocks and will never be equalled.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      on the french side they now have competition

      91.9 Sport’s ratings are pretty poor, and among anglophones they don’t register at all. I wouldn’t worry too much if I was TSN.

      Reply

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