How radio listenership shifted over the summer

David Bray dives deep into the latest Numeris PPM book and sees which stations are most popular in Canada's five largest markets.

By David Bray

COVID continues to impact radio across Canada, although things seem to be improving. Let’s look for some good news in the latest PPM radio ratings, released Thursday, covering the thirteen-week period from May 31 to Aug. 29, 2021.

Once again, all listening for this period occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, sometimes yielding unusual results.

In Toronto, bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CBC Radio One, delivering a 13.6 % share for A12+, despite being down from 15.5%. Taking the top spot with women 25 to 54 is CHUM-FM, delivering a 19.3% share (up from 12.6%). BOOM-FM is on top for males 25 to 54, posting an 11.5% share (down from 12.1%), followed closely by Q107 with 11.3% (up from 9.5%). Q107 leads the way for men 18 to 34 with an 15.1% share (down from 15.7%), CHFI-FM is in front with women 18 to 34 with 17.1% (down from 20.1%).

In Vancouver, CKNW grabs the top spot for A12+ with a 12.1% share of hours tuned, despite also being down from 13.3%. Jumping up to take the top spot for women 25 to 54 was 94.5 Virgin, posting a 12.1% share (up from 10.3%), followed closely by Rock 101 with 12.0%. FOX holds the lead for 25- to 54-year old men, delivering a 16.0 % share (up from 12.1 %). The FOX is also well out in front for men 18 to 34 with a 23.4 % share of hours tuned (up from 20.0 %) and women 18 to with a 15.4% share.

For Edmonton, UP 99.3 swept in to take number one with A12+, posting a 10.0% share of hours tuned (up from 9.2% in the last book). NOW! Radio holds top spot for women 25 to 54, delivering a 13.8% share (up slightly from 13.6%) and men 25 to 54 with an 12.0 % share (up from 11.1%). NOW also led with women 18 to 34 delivering a 16.0% share (down from 17.9%), while for men 18 to 34, Sonic leads the way, posting a 15.7% (though that’s down from 20.8%).

In Calgary, CBC Radio One leads the way for A12+ with a 10.4% (up from 9.9%). 101.5 Today Radio took number one for 25- to 54-year-old women (delivering a 12.7% share, up from 10.1%), 18- to -34-year-old women (13.9% share) and 18- to 34-year-old men (a 16.3% share, down from 17.9%). For men 25 to 54, X92.9 rules with a 12.9% share (up from 9.5%).

Finally, in Montreal, CHMP 98.5 FM is number for A12+ Francophone audiences, with an 18.7% share (down from 23.0%), with CJAD 800 tops with Anglophone audiences with a 28.4% share (down from 29.9%). 107.3 Rouge is tops with Francophone women 25 to 54, delivering a 13.2% share (down slightly from 13.7%), while The Beat 92.5 manages to stay way out in front with Anglophones in the same demo, despite its share dipping to a 25.5% from 31.1%. For Francophone men 25 to 54, CHMP 98.5 FM is on top at a 21.0% share, which is flat with last book. For Anglophone men, CHOM is number one at 24.0% (up from 22.6%).

David Bray is president of Bray & Partners Communications.