Radio ratings: The Beat still at twice Virgin’s audience

Numeris has released top-line numbers for its summer ratings period, and those figures show The Beat still at twice Virgin’s audience, while CJAD’s audience has continued to slip.

Here’s the market share for Montreal anglophones, ages 12+, for May 27 to Aug. 25, 2019:

  1. CJAD 800: 25.6%
  2. The Beat 92.5: 20.8%
  3. CHOM 97.7: 12.2%
  4. Virgin Radio 95.9: 10.7%
  5. CBC Radio One: 6.8%
  6. TSN Radio 690: 3.4%
  7. CBC Music: 2.4%
  8. Rythme 105,7: 2.4%
  9. 98,5fm: 2.3%

Remaining stations are below 2%.

Virgin has tried turning things around by replacing its morning team of Freeway and Natasha with Cousin Vinny and Shannon King. It’s too early to tell if that had any impact on ratings. But at least Virgin has climbed back above CBC, which it was below during the last ratings book.

Among Montreal francophones (also 12+, May 27 to Aug. 25, 2019):

  1. 98,5fm: 16.3%
  2. Rythme 105,7: 13.8%
  3. ICI Première: 12.0%
  4. 107,3 Rouge: 11.4%
  5. CKOI: 10.2%
  6. CHOM 97.7: 6.1%
  7. Énergie: 5.9%
  8. The Beat 92.5: 5.4%
  9. Virgin Radio 95.9: 4.3%
  10. ICI Musique: 2.6%
  11. 91,9 Sports: 1.7%

Remaining stations are below 1%.

Not much change here, with news-talk station 98,5 ahead and Rythme the top music station. Énergie’s numbers are very low, falling below CHOM. Expect some change there if the numbers don’t rebound soon. Their numbers were so bad they made a video making fun of the very idea of ratings.

The spin zone

17 thoughts on “Radio ratings: The Beat still at twice Virgin’s audience

  1. Mike David

    I wonder – on CJAD figures if some of the favs are on holidays. I’ve followed CJAD from when there were kids programs, mysteries, comedies, etc from when I was 6 and now have it on almost all day. Miss the Stuff Files and other stuff so no radio is on during Coast to Coast.

    Many people also are where radio doesn’t work ,like in water :). Listen to often, in summer on computer (netbook). So CJAD slipping – I’d imagine always did – even when I was a kid and kept notes of when radio was on in house – later TV. $3. a week – big bread.

    Email (confidential) or post to FB.

    1. Dilbert

      CJAD presents an interesting problem, one that isn’t entirely obvious. They have lost nearly 20% of their market share (30 down to 25, 18% ), and they are also losing listener/minutes, closer to 30% (16+ peak to 11.5 today). This suggests fewer people are tuning in, and those who do tune in are tuning in for less time – and it’s a consecutive, quarter over quarter issue that suggests this is a real trend, and not something that can be explained by a holiday period or someone being away on vacation.

      It’s more obvious when compared to others, especially the Beat. They are consistently around 20% market and their minutes are remaining pretty consistent as well.

      Worrying for radio in general is that CJAD’s lost listener minutes don’t appear to be going anywhere else. The first sample in 2015 shows 42,000 or so total minute/listeners, and this report shows only about 34,000. Every station is losing, CJAD and Virgin losing the most (almost all of the losses are theirs). It suggests either listeners are tuning out, or the real possibility that fewer and fewer people in Montreal are considered Anglophones for this survey. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for ad sales, which will likely decline as listenership drops overall.

      So the question is this: What is up with CJAD’s minutes and market share? Are their listeners dying off? If they are still alive, what are they doing instead of listening to the mighty AD?

      1. Marc

        Worrying for radio in general is that CJAD’s lost listener minutes don’t appear to be going anywhere else.

        It’s part of an overall, slow but sure migration from corporate media to new media – especially among those aged < 50.

        So the question is this: What is up with CJAD’s minutes and market share? Are their listeners dying off

        In CJAD’s case, probably. It’s gruesome to think but not surprising given half the commercials are for funeral homes and cemetary plots. That’s not just by chance.

          1. Dilbert

            Podcasts are actually fairly easy to explain, there are a bunch of reasons:

            – they are listened to at the listener’s convenience, not at some specific broadcast time

            – they are often narrowcasting, hitting quite specific targets. That audience may be too small in any one broadcast area, but might have enough listeners over the whole world

            – they are often come with social media, discord, and other methods to interact, once again on the listener’s time and not some preset schedule.

            – podcasts are easily shared with friends, from all over the world, and don’t require people to “tune in” at the same time.

            I could go on… podcasts are the “anti-broadcast media”.

      2. Gazoo

        Use to tune in to CJAD and other stations. But with all the changes over the past couple of years, rarely listen anymore. Get the news and weather then head over to Sirius or my own play list.

      3. Dorothy

        Last 2-3 years, our dial on CJAD has steadily been moving elsewhere (CBC’s Daybreak for the 6 a.m. news; when I’m in the kitchen Fridays, the radio is tuned to WVMT throughout the day.
        The one or two conservative voices CJAD used to interview are long gone.

      4. Christopher Lowery

        What can an AM station do in the Canadian marketplace to turn around the trend outside of catching fire by finding a local voice that speaks to English Montrealers?

  2. Anonymous

    Steve, is it my cell phone or me? Why is half my screen blank when I go to body of your radio ratings post? And message is shrunk to small type.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Why is half my screen blank when I go to body of your radio ratings post?

      There’s an issue with the embeds. I’ve replaced the embed with an image, so it should work again on mobile. On desktop, you can click the image for an interactive version.

  3. kevin

    What is an anglophone to Numeris? and how big is the anglophone market? Is it mother tongue? language spoken at home? language spoken most often?

    Also – do advertisers care about the language distinction ?

    1. Fagstein Post author

      What is an anglophone to Numeris?

      A household where English is mainly spoken at home.

      How big is the anglophone market?

      Numeris puts the average daily universe of the anglophone Montreal market at 833,000. That is about on par with statistical data on the number of anglophones in the region.

      Also – do advertisers care about the language distinction ?

      In short, yes, because advertisements are in one language or the other. The long answer is it’s a bit complicated, especially for stations like CHOM, which actually has a larger francophone audience than anglophone one. But their ads are still in English, so they need a measurement of anglophone audience.

  4. Mike

    Maybe they’re listening to other stations on the iheartradio app. iheartmedia is a company that filed for bankruptcy, is 20 billion in debt and is just as a mess on the programming side. Local stations don’t even know what they are losing by promoting that stupid platform. If CJAD can’t turn it around in the fall with a federal election…heads will roll in November, like they always do at Bell.

  5. Anonymous

    I can’t believe CJAD still has a quarter of the english market. They should change their slogan from NEWS TALK RADIO to GOSSIP TALK RADIO.

    Other than traffic, and weather reports, it’s basically useless.

    What I’ve started to do recently in the morning is get the traffic & weather from CJAD, and then switch it over to CKGM 690 TSN. The sports talk is better than the news talk of CJAD.

    Boy does this market need another News Talk station.

  6. Dorothy

    Tommy Schnurmacher gone. How much of his traditional audience stayed with his successors, or can relate to them?
    And without Rand at the drive-home mic, I’ll bet CJAD’s ratings would fall further.

    1. Gazoo

      I must be a rare one. I could not stand Tommy and did not listen to his egotistical rants. And if you disagreed, you were lucky to get on the air for longer than 5 seconds.

      At least Lesli Roberts gave the listeners a chance to talk.


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