It’s the end of an era: After years of Numeris (formerly BBM Canada) publishing a bare minimum of statistics on radio ratings in Canada’s five largest markets, it will now publish no data at all.
A statement on its website reads “Effective the start of the 2022-23 broadcast year (August 29, 2022), the Radio Topline Reports will no longer be produced. The final report will encompass the period ending on August 28, 2022.”
That report came out last week. It showed about the same as previous reports did, with CJAD 800 leading the pack on the anglophone side and 98.5 FM leading in French, as they always do.
Numeris (which is owned by the broadcasters) hasn’t explained why it made this decision. The result is that the only people who have access to even the most basic data will be those who are Numeris members — the broadcasters themselves as well as ad agencies and others who can afford the budget.
So we’re left to whatever (self-serving) statements they make about the ratings every three months. Fantastic.
Anyway, here’s what it looks like, one last time, for Montreal’s English market:
Though it still leads, CJAD is continuing a long-term downward trend in average listeners, with its lowest average minute audience since the PPM system was introduced.
The Beat is a strong second place, with more anglophone listeners than Bell Media’s CHOM and Virgin combined. (The three of them have about the same francophone audience though.)
CBC Radio One, which saw a spike last fall, has come back down a bit though still remains in third place. CHOM and Virgin are behind, followed by TSN 690 and CBC Music.
On the French side, CHMP 98.5 saw less of a summer dip than last year while Radio-Canada kept its high ratings to remain in second place.
#1 music station Rythme FM continued to recover from a long-term decline, posting its third straight gain over its rivals. In order by total (franco + anglo) average audience, it’s Rythme, CKOI, The Beat, Énergie, CHOM, Rouge, Virgin, ICI Musique, WKND and CBC Music.
It’s hard to pick out trends in that sea of numbers, but CKOI, and The Beat got better while Rouge and CHOM got worse, and the rest just kinda stayed the same.
WKND, the Leclerc-owned pop music station that replaced Radio Classique on 99.5, is still struggling to build an audience after two years, and was down slightly year-over-year. Whether it’s because not enough Montrealers know about it yet or because they haven’t liked it when they tuned in, there’s still a lot of work to do there to be competitive.
Overall radio tuning is flat over the past year, with 175,000 people ages 12+ listening to a reporting radio station in an average minute.
I’d link to everyone exclaiming how they’re number one, but since this is the last time we’ll have objective numbers, I’ll let those speak for themselves. Soon all we’ll have are the press releases.
This surprises me not at all. If I owned a radio station, I would not want Numeris regularly reminding the public that radio was dying. If you have comparable numbers back to 2000, it would look even worse. Advertisers have this info but they still have spending decisions to make.
Sad news, but not much of a surprise …
How much does it cost to become a member?
I’d easily give you $20/yr so you could keep reporting on this.
The public numbers are going away because they kept telling the same bad story: the massive decline of radio listening. The owners of Numeris (the very people they rate) are no longer interested in people like you telling that story.
The truth: The number of listeners is very low, so much so that there likely aren’t enough of them to truly support the stations in market. Because of media ownership concentration, there isn’t anywhere near the competition that there should be. Things won’t get any better.
The worst news is for Bell. From the “peak radio” on your graphs from 2016, the decline is massive. The Bell stations combined have lost essentially 50% of their anglo audience. It matches up pretty well with their moves to close down newsrooms and consolidate “services” such as traffic and sports to single sources. It has been mostly downhill every since. CHOM and Virgin together don’t even add up to what either one of them was back in the day.
There is a bigger problem looming on the horizon too: AM radio is going away. Most are trying ti ignore this, but most EV cars don’t come with AM radios (too much interference, apparently) and in many cases they are pushing satellite radio over FM – and the adoption of HD radio is stalled out, apparently. So for Bell, they may continue to lose listenership to CJAD just because people aren’t bothering to tune to AM at all. The way it’s going, it’s going to be time to move CJAD to 95.9FM and then run “virgin” branded music after 7PM. With a 3.2 audience, it’s no big loss to take Virgin out of the game.
Hopefully you’ll have some ratings stats after QEII’s funeral to show how Lisa at City did compared to Omar at CTV. I’ll be watching Lisa for sure, and I hope CityNews will eventually create a national news broadcast with her helming it. Otherwise, the next time we will see her would probably be at Charles’s coronation, whenever that happens.
The broadcasters don’t want us to know when/how much their numbers are decreasing.
Its no surprise that CJAD’s ratings have been dropping over the years – it is in keeping/relative to the lowering of standards when it comes to programming.
The late night show’s regular host lacks professionalism in his comportment on the air, and seems to lack broad interests. The majority of his contributors, discuss inane often bordering on ridiculous topics. Subjects of real interest are sadly lacking; there is very little discussion of issues ‘of the day’.
A (late) CJAD host often said on his show that if he didn’t provide his listeners with at least piece of knowledge during each show, he had not done his job. He reached his commitment several times during any one of his shows. His standard is truly missed.
I get the sense that CJAD’s budget takes priority over quality….too many infomercial-type programs and far too many repeats, especially over the weekend, and holidays.
My solution was to find CFPL 980 (London Ont.) and CHML 900 (Hamilton, Ont.). CJAD 800 is no longer our household’s radio station of choice.
You’re quite right on all counts.
“AD’s morning show is an IQ killer who’s host is astoundingly inept even after all these years. From fumbling a simple conversation, ending it with cringe-worthy and sometimes misplaced juvenile jokes, I am so glad I can tune into John Moore’s show (NewsTalk 1010) with my smart speaker.
As for overnight, they mercifully ended Cooper’s inane show.
Would love to know how CFQR is doing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard an ad on that station