The R4 2020 PPM numbers are out

The lasted 13 week PPM surveys were conducted by Numeris from 31 August to 29 November known as the R4 book. Below is our overview of the winners along with some comments. All figures quoted are Monday to Sunday 2am-2am and Adults 12+ unless otherwise noted.

Toronto Calgary (sample = 1,180)
The CBC (CBLA-FM) benefited from people looking for news and information and remains the most listened to station in Toronto. They are up 6.4% to a 17.7% audience share %.  Q107 is the most listened to commercial station for the second book in a row, but static at 11.1%. They were helped by some impressive female numbers which frankly does not make sense. Boom holds onto #3 with a 9.2%, CHFI is next with an 8.5% which is down from the 13.4% in R2. News and talk stations performed well, as you would expect in this Covid-19 world. 680 News is up 21.5% to a 7.1% and Newstalk 1010 is up 16.4% to a 5.8%.

In the money demo (adults 25-54) CBC are #1 at 12.9%, Boom 97.3 is #2 tied with Q107 followed by CHFI and 680 news. Next is CHUM-FM who are down 10% (6.5% to 5.8%) and up to 6th place because of a 40% growth in audience share (4.0% to 5.6%) is Indie 88.

The other demo advertising agencies are interested in is Adults 18-34 where Q107 is #1 for the second book in a row with a 17.8% and grew their audience by 24%. Next is CBC with a 12.8% with CHFI at #3 with a 9.6% and Boom with an 8.2% share.  CISS 92.5 at #5 with a 5.8% (down 28% from R3 where they had an 8.2%) and are now tied with Virgin Radio. CHUM are next with a 5.5% and Z103.5 lost 28% of their audience in this age demo (6.4% to 4.5%).

When you look at TSL which is the amount of time listeners spend with a station in a week you can see that some of these radio stations benefit from a huge number of hours spent listening to them. Which helped their overall audience share numbers. CBC listeners spend an unbelievable 48.6 hours per week with the public broadcaster. I know lots of people are working from home, but this is one of the highest TSL numbers I have ever seen. CFRB get 31.2 hours per week and Q107 an impressive 20.7 hours per week. Again, all figures are 12+ Monday to Sunday 2am to 2am unless otherwise noted.  More people check out CHFI in a week than any other Toronto radio station with over 6.5 million cume. Next is CHUM with 5.9 million followed by Boom 97.3 with 5.6 million and Virgin radio with 5.3 million.

Moring Drive is dominated by the news and talk stations with CBC 26.4% share, CFRB 11.2% and 680 news with an 8.4% of morning drive audience.

As an industry we need to look at PPM sample sizes and the methodology if we hope to retain credibility with advertisers and ad agencies. Frankly some of these numbers do not make sense. There is only so much you can blame on Covid-19 and Trump!

Vancouver Calgary (sample = 833)
The most listened to station in Vancouver is the Corus owned Newstalk station CKNW with a 14.8% share of audience (all people 12+ Monday to Sunday 2am-2am). CBC is #2 and 93.7 JR country is 3rd followed by Rock 101 and Virgin Radio tied at 7.4% share.

Ad Agencies buy Adults 25-54 and this demo is owned by Rock 101 with a 10.7% and sister station CFOX is #2 with a 9.8%. These two stations are clearly benefiting from the return of Ronnie Stanton to the programming chair. Next comes JR country with a 9.2% followed by the Stingray station Z95.3 which is up 53% in audience share (5.3% to 8.2%).

Bell’s QM-FM is the most sampled station in Vancouver with a 12+ cume of 2.3 million followed by Virgin Radio at 2.1 million and Jack FM at just over 2 million. It will be interesting to see what the new morning show of Drex and company can do for Jack FM in 2021.

CKNW benefits from 50.3 hours of time spent listening over the week. CBC are next with 30 hours and the Christian station Praise 106 are 3rd with 18 hours a week. Morning Drive is dominated by the news and talk stations with CKNW with a 16.3% share and CBC next with a 16.2%. Then it’s Bells QM in 3rd spot with a 7.5%, Rock 101 with a 7.3%, and JR Country with a 7.1% share of audience.


Calgary (sample = 747)
News and information stations dominate the ratings in Calgary with the Corus News/Talk station 770 CHQR at #1 with an 9.8% audience share which is up almost 13%. CBC are #2 with a 9.0% and Country 105 is 3rd with a 7.4% (down 14%) followed by Pattison’s Hot AC 101.5 Today Radio with a 7.4%.

Pattison’s Today Radio wins the Adults 25-54 race with a 10.9% adults 12+ followed by Bells Rocker CJ 92 with a 6.8% and Harvard’s X92.9 with a 6.7%. The CBC are 8th in Calgary with a 5.2% of audience.

18-34 is owned by Pattison’s WILD 953 with a 10.3% share with sister station Today Radio close with a 9.7% and Stingray’s XL 103 with an 8.1% audience share. (up 22.6% from the previous book).

Rawclo’s soft AC (CHUP) is the most checked out station in Calgary with a cume of 1.3 million, followed by Virgin Radio with 1.1 million and XL 103 with about the same amount of full coverage cume.

News and information junkies spend a lot of time with the news stations in Calgary and the Corus AM CHQR gets 38.6 hours per week followed by the CBC at 29.6 hours and CBC Radio 2 at 22.1 hours.

Morning drive is dominated by CBC Radio One with a 12+ audience share of 13.9% followed by 770 CHQR at 10.9% and Country 105 at 7.7%.

Edmonton (sample = 795)
Pattison’s UP 99.3 is back on top in Edmonton with a 12+ audience share of 8.0% swapping placed with the CBC who are down 12% to 7.9%. The AC Breeze product (CKRA) and 102.3 Now FM are tied for 3rd with a 7.6%. CFBR-FM “The Bear” has 7.2% share of audience.

102.3 Now wins the Adults 25-54 battle in R4 with a 12.6% with Sonic @ #2 with a 11.3%, and Stingray’s K97 at #3 with an 8.2%.

102.9 Sonic FM stay on top in the 18-34 demo and grew their audience by 30% to a 17.2% followed by 102.3 Now with a 13.1%. K97 are 3rd with a 11.9% share followed by CISN Country and The Bear.

Stingray’s The Breeze is the radio station more people in Edmonton check out than any other with a full coverage cume of 1.2 million. Kiss 91.7 is #2 with 1.1 million listeners and 102.3 Now is a closer 3 when it comes to cume.

CBC Radio One get 27.5 hours a week, followed by CHED at 19.8 hours and Multi-Cultural station CKUA at 15.6 hours.

CBC Radio One are #1 in AM Drive with a 10.0% with CHED at #2 with a 8,7% and Sonic 1029 at #3 with an 8.6%.

Montreal (sample = 1,467)
Cogeco are doing well in Montreal and have 3 of the top 5 stations in the market adults 12+. Their French language News/Talk station (CHMP-FM) is #1 with a 17.6% share of all people 12+. At #2 is CBC (CBF-FM) with a 12.3%. Cogeco’s 105.7 Rythme FM with an 11.1% is #3 and sister station 96.9 with a 7.5% come in at #4. Rounding out the top 5 is legendary rocker CHOM with a 7.1%  audience share.

Adults 25-54 has Bells French classic Hits statins Energie 94.3 at #1 with a 12.1%. CBC are #2 with a 10.9 and at #3 is Cogeco’s   News/Talk station (CHMP-FM). Close behind is sister station 92.5 The Beat with a 10.4% and next also with a 10% (10.2%) is Cogeco’s 105.7 Rythme FM proving that if you want to reach this important agency demo you need the Cogeco stations.

Cogeoc’s CKOI-FM are #1 with Adults 18-34 with a 14.6% followed by sister station News/Talk station (CHMP-FM)with a 11,0% and 3rd is Bell’s Energie 94.3 with a 10.3%.

More people check out the French language Hot AC CKOI-FM who has a weekly full coverage cume of 4.1 million people. Just behind them is sister station 105.7 Rythme FM. Bell’s French language Hot AC is 3rd with 3.5 million listeners and 02.5 The Beat has a weekly cume of 3.4 million listeners.

The big AM stations CJAD gets the most hours tuned in this market with an impressive 62 hours per week. At #2 is CBC (CBF-FM) at 37.6 hours and #3 is News/Talk station (CHMP-FM) with 32.3 hours of tuning per week.

Morning Drive (6-10am) is dominated by Cogeco’s French News/Talk monster with an impressive 24.5% 12+ audience share. CBC are #2 with a 13.2% and #3 is Cogeco’s 105.7 Rythme FM.

This has been a crazy year because of Covid-19, people working form home, shorter or no commutes and of course the antics of Donald Trump which have all likely to have impacted radio listening in one form or another. We can only hope that 2021 will be a better year!

This article was written by Chris Byrnes.