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July 17, 2007

Ottawa spring radio ratings are out

The Spring 2007 radio ratings are out from BBM. You can see the full Ottawa results in this PDF document. We also entered some of the stats into a Google spreadsheet so you can play around with the numbers. Here's what we found:
  • Greatest hits: Among all listeners 12 years or older, the top three stations (by share) are CBC, CFRA, and Majic. These three stations combine for a share of almost 40% of Ottawa radio listeners - with CBC taking nearly 19% (Visit our Radio Guide for a top ten list.)

  • Go Sens Go: The Team 1200 had a huge increase in listener reach. From 2006-2007, they added over 40,000 listeners - probably due to the Sens playoff run.

  • On the flipside: CHEZ and The Bear lost over 20,000 in listener reach, but kept fairly steady with their overall share. (Share = a measurement of total hours tuned into the station)

  • The mighty CBC: The station with the biggest increase in share was CBC Radio 1, who went from a 14.6 share in 2006 to 18.8 in 2007. They also increased their reach by over 21,000 listeners.

  • Oldies getting stale? The lowest-rated english station is Oldies 1310. (A few of the french stations rank lower, but that's because french audiences are tracked separately.)
  • Of course, with radio ratings, the overall share/reach isn't always the most important number. Most radio stations are targetting a specific segment of the audience - men, women, young, old, etc. For example, Rob Brodie points out that the Team 1200 made a big jump in the male 25-54 market, probably due to the Sens playoff run. BBM collects so many stats that most stations can spin some kind of positive story out of it. Unfortunately you have to pay to get detailed breakdowns from BBM.

  • Fewer listeners overall? BBM's sample size estimated population went up by about 11,300 listeners, yet the station reach went down by nearly 27,000.

    Reach = "The estimated number of different people, within the central market area, who tuned to that station for at least one quarter hour during the week."

    So, if we're understanding the numbers correctly - that means:
    1) Fewer people are listening to the radio. (Satellite radio / iPod / Internet influence?)
    2) People aren't flipping channels as often - sticking with just a few stations, instead of sampling a whole bunch.
    3) The number is small - it could be a statistical error or simply insignificant.

    We've emailed a few friends in the industry to get their take - more this week.

    UPDATE: A few radio insiders tell us the drop in cumulative reach isn't significant. The number is so small that you'd have to see a continuing trend over several ratings periods to make any assumptions.
Related: Ottawa Radio Guide

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