One of the must attend sessions at this year’s Ontario Association of Broadcasters one day conference in Toronto on 10 November will see Jeff Vilder from Audio Insights present the results of a custom study designed specifically for the OAB on Radio’s place in the Canadian Audio Landscape”.
Jeff was kind enough to share some of the early information with me and reports that even with the increased streaming to pureplay music services, broadcast radio remains alive and well in Canada, Of 1,505 Canadian adults surveyed, 6-in-10 listen to AM/FM daily, while slightly more than 1-in-10 turn to streaming music services daily. The pureplay leaders: Spotify (with 29% past week listeners among those who listen to streaming services >1x/week); Songza (17%); and the new Apple Music (11%). Other roadmap insights to be shared at the OAB session: streaming of AM/FM radio on smartphone, and interest in listening to FM chips on smartphones.
Jeff vilder says “There are lots of new ways to listen to music—just as there were in the past with eight-tracks, cassettes and walkmans. Even with the new music streaming services like Spotify and Songza, Canada’s live local radio stations still have very much their own space and continue to do very well.”
You can register for the OAB conference here
Since the in-fighting between the big players in television effectively killed the CAB in Canada, the regional broadcasting organisations have stepped up to fill the void. Remember how we would all make the trip to Ottawa for the annual CAB conference to learn what was new, hear from the regulator, and, of course, network? In Ontario the Ontario Association of Broadcasters (OAB) has been organising an annual conference for the past few years and each year it seems to grow and get better. This year’s event is called “Connection 2015” and it happens in Toronto on Tuesday, November 10th. Here are 10 reasons why you need to be there.
Make sure to clear this day in your calendar if you want to be ‘in the loop’ and to gather up a bandwidth of great insight and knowledge focusing about the biz. Register for the OAB conference here
Now that summer is over we took a look at how radio formats are performing in the five largest Canadian markets. We looked at the Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal markets, and studied the performance of each of the formats from the most recent 2015 summer survey period. We used the previous two summer books as a point of comparison and averaged the share of those stations in each format. In all cases we used Numeris PPM data Monday to Sunday 2am – 2am All people 2+ Share %. You may be surprised to learn which Canadian cities have the stations with the largest audience shares.
The most popular format in Canada is News with an average share of 8.8%. News formats do better when there are elections on or when major events happen in Canada or the world and we seem to have had our share of major stories over this past summer. When the election is over and perhaps things return to “normal” it will be interesting to see how news holds up. However, the format is a consistent winner and has been the most popular format in these 5 markets for the past three summers, or longer. Last summer it slipped to a 7.7% average share, but that was a “slow” summer for major stories as I recall. The previous summer, news averaged an 8.1% share. CJAD in Montreal is not only the News station with the largest audience share (28.1%), it also boasts the largest audience share of any format across these five markets.
The second most popular format is Hot AC and has a 7.9% average share across these five markets. There are 10 stations listed as playing Hot AC but the format has slipped almost a full percentage point from the summer of 2013, which is a concern. Calgary appears to be the most competitive Hot AC market in the country with three stations all claiming to own this format hill. But the station to check out in this format is in Montreal. It’s Cogeco’s 92.5 The Beat which has an almost exclusively female talent lineup, and boasts a 17.7% share. This is down slightly, by the way, from an 18.9% two summers ago.
The format that is growing the most in Canada is Classic Hits and is tied for 3rd place with a 6.0% average share. It has grown from a 5.2% in the summer of 2013. Both Edmonton and Vancouver have three stations in this format. XL 103 in Calgary is the big format winner up from a 7.6% to a 10.5% this summer. The Newcap owned Boom 97.3 has also made some solid gains in Toronto.
Country, with only five stations in the format, and one of them not really located in Toronto, is the other format that is tied for 3rd place, also with a 6.0% average share. This format has slipped a little from a 6.6% in the summer of 2013. The big performer in this format is CKRY in Calgary that boasts a 10.9% share.
In fourth place is the Adult contemporary format with only five stations listed as playing AC in these markets. This format has an average audience share of 5.0%., which is down from a 5.7% in the summer of 2013. This format is challenged because it is no longer definable by a few core artists. The format has become a title driven format and has to share lots of titles with Hot AC and even CHR. QM in Vancouver is the station that is performing the best in this format based on audience share. It has an 11.4% share which is their best result in the last 3 years.
Rock is the most popular format with 15 stations listed as playing Rock in these five cities. The format slides into 5th spot with a 4.8% average share. Rock is a format that also has its challenges because the new rock sound does not mesh well with the older classic rock songs. Programmers need to be careful not to play too many new and unfamiliar titles, or to fall into the trap of sounding old and boring by filling so many slots in the hour with potentially tired and burnt old rock songs. The stations that are performing the best are doing lots of music testing to ensure they are playing the best of the best songs for the target audience. Rock slipped from a 5.4% in summer 2013 to a 4.9% in summer of 2014, and this past summer saw another small drop. “The Spirit of Rock,” the Bell owned CHOM in Montreal, is the station that performs best in this format with a 12.2% audience share.
Rounding out the top 6 best performing formats with 12 stations is CHR. It has a 4.1 % average share which is down slightly from a 4.4% two summers ago. This format seems to share lots of titles and artists with Hot AC on one slide and Urban and even some rock on the other end of the format. The best performing CHR station is 94.5 Virgin Radio in Vancouver with a 6.8% average share. While this looks good it is well down from the 9.2% this station returned when it was positioned as The Beat.
Averaging audience shares in just one way of measuring the performance of formats, and we get that each market has its differences. There are many factors that determine a radio stations success. We strongly believe radio stations win because they are great 365 days of the year. They focus on five key elements and get of them right all of the time.
“Autism Awareness Month”: Call the Autism Society of Canada 1-866-478-8440 or see www.autismsocietycanada.ca.
“Brain Tumour Awareness Month”: The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada’s website is www.braintumour.ca.
“Canadian Library Month”: For info, contact the Canadian Library Association at 613-232-9625 or see www.cla.ca.
“Car Safety Month”: See the Automotive Industries Association of Canada website at www.aiacanada.com.
“Child Abuse Awareness Month”: see www.redcross.ca.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month”: For info, call the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation 1-800-387-9810 or see www.cbcf.org.
“Global Diversity Awareness Month”: Celebrating, promoting and appreciating the global diversity of our society. Call Carole Copeland Thomas 508-947-5755, email TellCarole@mac.com.
“Women’s History Month”: see www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/dates/whm-mhf/index.eng.html.
Oct 2 “World Smile Day”: A day dedicated to good works and good cheer. Do an act of kindness and help one person smile. See www.worldsmileday.com.
Oct 4 “Ten-Four Day”: The fourth day of the tenth month is a day of recognition for radio operators, whose code words “Ten Four” signal an affirmative reply. Involve your local Ham radio club on your show, and see how far away they can transmit. If you get the right people, they are very interesting.
Oct 4-10 “United Nations World Space Week”: To celebrate the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition. See www.worldspaceweek.org.
Oct 5 “World Habitat Day”: see www.un.org.
Oct 5 “International World Teachers’ Day”: A day to honour teachers and their contributions to learning. For info go to www.un.org.
Oct 9-17 “Oktoberfest” The second largest Oktoberfest in the world is held in Kitchener, Ontario. More than 700,000 people attend the 70 events over the week. Call the organizers for more info 519-570-4267, email email@example.com, or visit www.oktoberfest.ca.
Oct 10 “Universal Music Day:” This day advocates, celebrates and encourages profound gratitude for music, musicians and music teachers. Call Susan Patricia Golden, Family Music Network 727-804-4908, email info@UniversalMusicDay.org. See www.UniversalMusicDay.org.
Oct 12 “International Moment of Frustration Scream Day”: To share any or all of our frustrations, all citizens of the world will go outdoors at twelve hundred hours Greenwich time and scream for 30 seconds. We will all feel better or Earth will go off its orbit. Call 717-279-0184, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or see www.wellcat.com.
Oct 12 “Thanksgiving Day”: Observed in Canada on the second Monday in October each year.
Oct 12-18 “Citizenship Week”: Canada’s Citizenship Week is intended to encourage all Canadians to reflect on the value of citizenship and what it means to be Canadian. See www.cic.gc.ca/english/celebrate/citweek.asp.
Oct 13-19 “Getting the World to Beat a Path to Your Door Week”: To focus attention on improving public relationships in order to create success for companies, products and individuals. Call Barbara Gaughen 805-968-8567, email email@example.com, web: www.robertmuller.org.
Oct 14 “Be Bald and Be Free Day”: For those who are bald and who either do wear or do not wear a wig or toupe, this is the day to go “shiny” and be proud. Call 717-279-0184 or see www.wellcat.com.
Oct 15 “Grouch Day”: All grouches deserve a day to be recognized. Created for and inspired by Alan Miller, a retired teacher.
Oct 16 “Dictionary Day”: The birthday of Noah Webster, American teacher and lexicographer, is occasion to encourage every person to acquire at least one dictionary – and to use it regularly.
Oct 16 “National Boss Day”: For all employees to honour their bosses.
Oct 16 “World Food Day”: To increase awareness, understanding and informed action on hunger. For info call 202-653-2404 or see www.fao.org/getinvolved/worldfoodday/en.
Oct 17 “Mulligan Day”: A day for giving yourself another chance or a do-over.
Oct 17-23 “National School Safety Week”: see www.https://canadiansafetycouncil.org.
Oct 17-25 “National Chemistry Week”: To celebrate the contributions of chemistry to modern life and to help the public understand that chemistry affects every part of our lives. Call the American Chemical Society 1-800-227-5558, ext 6097, email firstname.lastname@example.org. see www.chemistry.org/ncw.
Oct 18 “Persons Day”: To commemorate the anniversary of the 1929 ruling that declared women to be persons in Canada.
Oct 19 “Sweetest Day”: Around 1922 a candy company employee named Herbert Birch Kingston decided that it would be a wonderful thing to distribute candy to the sick, shut-ins, and orphans of Cleveland. Thus Sweetest Day was born. Do something nice for someone today that will make them say, “Oh, that’s so sweet!”
Oct 19-25 “Waste Reduction Week”: Canadian campaign to reduce waste. See www.wrwcanada.com.
Oct 22 “International Stuttering Awareness Day”: For info call National Stuttering Assn. 1-800-992-9392. see www.westutter.org.
Oct 22 “Yom Kippur”: This is the Day of Atonement in the Jewish faith and their most holy day of the year.
Oct 24 “Make A Difference Day”: A national day of community service. For information call 800-416-3824 or visit www.makeadifferenceday.com.
Oct 25-31 “International Magic Week”: A week to celebrate the world of magic and the magicians who create it. Call Sir Nemo Turner 514-849-0888, email email@example.com.
Oct 25 “Mother-in-law Day”: Traditionally the 4th Sunday in October is the occasion to honour mothers-in-law for their contribution to the success of families and for their good humour in enduring bad jokes.
Oct 30 “Devil’s Night”: A night of mischief and harmless pranks on the evening before Halloween carried out mainly by children.
Oct 31 “Halloween”: A druid autumn festival dating from the 6th century, has long been associated with thoughts of the dead, spirits, witches, ghosts and devils.