Analysis: Survey 4 2009 BBM Overview

The new PPM ratings, with diary analysis courtesy of Hennessy & Bray SVP David Bray, show radio audiences listen to twice as many stations as diaries previously reported.

They call it the currency release, the report that most buyers and sellers will use for trading purposes: the PPM radio numbers covering September to November, 2009.

We are now officially in the era of continuous measurement, with PPM ultimately replacing diary numbers as the trading currency for programmers and advertisers in five major markets. There will be a great deal of discussion about which method best represents the truth. As I have said before, truth is relative. The fact is both systems offer estimates with a certain margin of error. Below, for purposes of comparison, I have included the fall diary numbers vs. the fall PPM numbers. This is the last time that both sets of figures will be produced concurrently for Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

Some differences are evident in the two sets of figures. Diary generally reports that people listen to three stations. PPM says six to seven stations. Certain types of stations seem to suffer with PPM. In some markets CBC Radio One and Two, which get a bit of what I’ll call ‘aspirational reporting’ in the diary lose that benefit in the core 25-54 demographic. Conversely ‘office’ stations thrive under the passive reporting format. Younger rock/pop stations, which had trouble getting young adult males to fill out diaries, seem to come back strong with PPM.

Now let’s take a look what the latest fall ’09 PPM figures released yesterday tell us in comparison to the fall ’09 diary book.

Toronto: Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CHFI-FM with a 13% share of hours tuned for A12+ (as compared from 8.9% in the fall diary) followed by CHUM-FM with a 11.4% (compared to 8.4%).

Office station CHUM-FM leads the way for females 25-54 with a 19.5% share (compared with 15.2% in the summer diary) followed by another office station CHFI-FM with 15.1% share (compared with 12.3%).

Q107 is on top for males 25-54, posting a 14.1% share (compared with 13.1% in the diary). The Edge held its lead with M18-34 turning in an 18.9% share (compared 17.4% in the diary).

Vancouver: CKNW holds #1 for A12+ with a 13.4% share of hours tuned (as compared to 11% in the fall diary). PPM seems to like CKNW, in part due to the fact that it is played in a wide variety of environments.

Office station 103.5QM/FM, clearly benefitting from the new methodology, is in the top spot for F25-54 with a 16% share (compared to 13.2%). The FOX is one of the primary recipients of additional audience logged via PPM, leading the way for M25-54 with a 10.9% share (as compared to a 7.3%). This is largely a factor of younger adult males who won’t fill out diaries being captured by PPM. (Older) brother station ROCK101 suffers the reverse fate, delivering an 8% share for M25-54 (as compared to an 8.7% in the diary). For M18-34, the Beat got a substantial boost from PPM leading the way at 16.3% (compared to 10.7%).

When it comes to females, Virgin gets the PPM boost with a 16.7% share (compared to 8.9%) followed by the Beat at 12.9% (compared 29%, a difference so great that it defies explanation).

As mentioned above, CBC Radio One and Two took hits across the board with the PPM numbers as compared to diary results.

In its first full book, new station SHORE 104 is beginning to gain some ground posting a 2.2% share against its core M35-54 demo.

A brief overview of share figures from the PPM Sept 2009 BBM release:

Toronto: % Share of Hours Tuned (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a) Source BBM Fall ‘09

Vancouver: % Share of Hours Tuned (Mon.-Sun, 5a-1a), Source BBM Fall ‘09

David Bray is SVP of Hennessy & Bray Communications.