BBM 2009:s3 - Overview

Written by David Bray on 01 October 2009.

We now stand at the crossroads in terms of radio audience measurement and will soon have to embrace a completely new mindset in relation to ratings. For this summer and fall only, BBM has been concurrently using both PPM and Diary Methodologies in the markets of Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. In essence, weaning us off diaries in order to make room for the PPM era. We will have continuous measurement in these markets, with PPM replacing diary numbers as the trading currency for programmers and advertisers. Which method best represents the truth? Well, truth is relative. The fact is both systems offer estimates with a certain margin of error. BBM came to the conclusion that PPM offers the best long term stability.

In the months to come I will offer a more thorough comparison of the two methodologies.  For the time being, it is interesting to note some of the preliminary differences evident in the two sets of figures, based in part on the U.S. experience.  Diary generally reports that people listen to three stations. PPM says six to seven stations. Certain types of stations seem to suffer with PPM. Heritage stations experience a bit of halo tuning in diary reporting (which relies on the listener’s memory) which disappears with the passive recording of PPM. We’ll probably find, for example, that CBC Radio One or Two, which get a bit of what I’ll call “aspirational reporting” in the diary lose that benefit with PPM. Conversely “office” stations thrive under the passive reporting format. Younger rock stations, which had trouble getting young adult males to fill out diaries, seem to come back strong with PPM.

For now let’s take a look what the latest diary figures released today tell us in comparison to the last book.

Toronto: This time out, bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go the CBC Radio with a 8.8% share of hours tuned for A12+ (down from 10.0%) followed by CHFI-FM with a 8.4% (down from 9.2%). CHUM-FM is continues its downward trend posting a respectable 7.8% against A12+ (down from 8.1%)  CHUM-FM continues to lead the way for females 25-54 with a 12.8% share (down from 15.1%) followed by CHFI-FM with 10.6% share (down from 13.0%). Q107 is once again on top for males 25-54, posting a 12.0% share (down from 13.4%).  The Edge held their lead with M18-34 turning in a 14.4% share (down from 18.3%). CHUM-FM grabbed top spot for females 18-34, delivering a 15.6% (down from 17.7%) followed by the emerging Virgin 99.9 with a 13.5% share.

Vancouver:  :  CBC Radio One holds #1 for A12+ with a 11.6% share of hours tuned (down from 12.4%). Coming in at #2 is CKNW with an 11.5% share (up from 10.7). 103.5QM-FM is in the top spot for F25-54 with a 12.6% share (up from 11.1). ROCK101 claims top spot with M25-54, delivering a 10.7% (down from 13.5%).  For M18-34, the FOX leads the way at 17.0% (up from 14.7) followed by the Beat with a 13.8% share (down from 18.0). Females 18-34 go to the Beat at 22.6% (up from 19.0%). Teens overwhelmingly favour the Beat at 40.6% (down from 53.3).

Calgary:  QR77 grabs a place at the top of the heap for A12+ with a 9.7% share of hours tuned for A12+ (up from 9.5) . CJAY92 retains its hold on the #1 position for M25-54 with 13.4% share of hours tuned (down from 11.4%). F25-54 goes to Lite 96 with an 11.0% share of hrs. tuned (up from 10.4%). X92.9 leads the way for M18-34 with a 21.0% share followed closely by CJAY92 with a 16.5%.  Vibe 985 courted an 18.4% share for F18-34 (down from 26.4%).

In Edmonton, holding down top honours for A12+ is 630 CHED with a 9.4% share (down from 11.4% last time out).  For F25-54, 92.5 Joe-FM leaps into the lead with 14.3% (up from 8.6).  For M25-54, The Bear takes #1 with a 13.1% (down from 14.7%). M18-34 goes to the Bear with a formidable 18.5 share (down from 22.3%).