Analysis: Survey 3 2009 BBM Overview

The latest BBM ratings are facing a new mindset, and Hennessy & Bray's David Bray is here to break it all down. 

We now stand at the crossroads in terms of radio audience measurement, and will soon 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 Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto – in essence, weaning off diaries and moving into the PPM era. Which method best represents the truth? Well, truth is relative. The fact is both systems offer estimates with a certain margin of error, and BBM concluded PPM offers the best long-term stability.

It’s interesting to note some of the preliminary differences evident in the two sets of figures, based in part on the US 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 may find, for example, that CBC Radio One or Two, which get a bit of ‘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.

Here’s what the 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 to CBC Radio with a 8.8% share of hours tuned for A12+ (down from 10%) followed by CHFI-FM with a 8.4% (down from 9.2%). CHUM-FM 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%). Q107 is once again on top for males 25-54, posting a 12% share (down from 13.4%). The Edge held its 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). 103.5 QM-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% (up from 14.7) followed by the Beat with a 13.8% share (down from 18). Females 18-34 go to the Beat at 22.6% (up from 19%) and teens overwhelmingly favour the Beat at 40.6% (down from 53.3).

Calgary: QR 77 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). CJAY 92 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% share of hours tuned (up from 10.4%). X 92.9 leads the way for M18-34 with a 21% share followed closely by CJAY 92 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%), and M18-34 also goes to the Bear with a formidable 18.5 share (down from 22.3%).

A summary of share figures from Survey 3 2009 BBM can be found here.

David Bray is SVP of Hennessy & Bray Communications.