Toronto radio market buzzes amidst reopening: Media Monitors

Meanwhile, Montreal's market stayed tepid.

After more than two months as the single-biggest buyer in the Toronto radio market, the Government of Ontario has pulled back somewhat on its radio buy. While the week ending June 28 only saw the government purchase 200 or so fewer ads than it had the week before – a 17% decrease – it moved down to sixth place due to increased buys from retailers, auto dealerships and more.

The top buyer was Lowe’s, with 993 total ads. The Nissan Dealer Association was close behind with 955 spots, and Rona with 942. Scotiabank and the Honda Dealer Association rounded out the top five, with 879 and 849 spots, respectively.

Increases among key categories indicate that Toronto’s radio buying activity now looks more like it did prior to the global pandemic – at its lowest, the top-five (non-government) buying categories was at roughly 70% of pre-pandemic buying levels. Now, it is essentially even with pre-pandemic.

The top buying category was auto dealer associations with 2,952 total ads, a 10% increase from the previous week. Other rising categories included finance (up 10% to 2,714), home and hardware retail (up 37% to 2,008), local auto dealers (up 30% to 1,670), food and beverage retailers (nearly doubled to 1,536) and Asian factory autos (more than doubled to 1,346). The only significant category-wide decline was government and unions; that shrunk by more than half to 928.

But Montreal’s radio market is not seeing a bullish return to “normal.” While some categories have shown subtle increases, others have continued to move down or stay put and most buys remain modest.

The Quebec Government stayed on top with 823 ads for the week, consistent with the order it put in for the last several months. CTV stayed close to the top with 422 ads, a big increase from the previous week’s 277. New entrant Subway took third with 361 ads, while Chevrolet and Bell mobility rounded out the top five with 307 and 305 ads, respectively.

For categories, government and unions stayed on top with 1,063, about 200 ads fewer than previous. There were increases, mostly minor, among the public service category, home centres and hardware stores, television and cable TV, wireless internet service and business and consumer restaurants. The fast-casual and QSR category did see an increase of nearly tenfold, but its total category buy was still only 395. All other categories saw minor decreases.

MM June 28 Toronto Brands MM June 28 Toronto Categories MM June 28 Montreal Brands MM June 28 Toronto Categories