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.