Satellite Radio Tuning Still Very Low in Canada

Have you ever heard Satellite radio used as an objection by a potential advertiser or listener? “Why should I buy your station when so many people are listening to XM?” This was a comment a sales rep passed along to me during a recent station visit. I responded by saying that everything I see indicates that satellite radio has such a small share in Canada that it is not an issue. I encouraged the sales rep to go back and uncover the real client objection.

Recently BBM released Canadian data that supports my belief. In short, it shows that very few people are using satellite radio. Across Canada of the 91,267 people who completed a BBM diary, only 4.8% of adults 12+ reported tuning to satellite radio at some point during the measured period in the Fall of 2013. They are also not spending very much time listening when they do tune with just 2.2% of quarter hours spent listening to satellite radio.

Those that do listen to satellite radio tend to be male which is no great surprise. But they also tend to be older. So those that do listen are older males which as we know are often the advertising decision makers. Perhaps because they tune to satellite radio they assume that some of their customers do as well. In reality the numbers tuning to satellite radio are below the margin or error in Canada.

My take on this BBM research, when I combine it with all the other  data that is available, is that satellite radio is getting very little traction in Canada even with so many new cars coming off the production lines with free satellite radio service included.  Most people still prefer to tune to a local radio station for local news, weather, traffic conditions as well as hearing their favorite music and personalities.