A(nother) new era of radio measurement

David Bray explores spring's radio listenership with Numeris's latest data.
StatsRadio Motion Design Studio

Numeris’ latest diary book radio ratings released Thursday, June 3 – the PPM Spring book (and I use those words loosely) – uses data collected from Aug. 31, 2020 to May 2, 2021 (continuous measurement), which, in itself, presents challenges. As we are all well aware, substantial changes have taken place during that time period. I don’t think that any of us are what we used to be.

As a reminder, the Fall 2020 book was cancelled outright due to a number of factors, and 56 diary markets have been discontinued by Numeris, leaving us with our current 22, covering Canada’s central region alone.

For certain markets (we don’t know which, exactly) where there was a shortfall in sample size, some data from Spring 2020 was used. Oh my.

Add to that, Numeris has transitioned to the exclusive use of online diaries, which presents another series of methodological challenges. Don’t forget to add COVID-19 considerations to the mix. LikeĀ SNL‘s Gilda Radner (if you remember her) said: “it’s always something, but never more than now.”

All that said, I will humbly try, to the best of my ability, to describe the methodology utilized and the overall climate in the world of radio measurement.

Citing a number of issues, Numeris suggests using an “adjustment factor” when looking at this release’s figures. In a companion document they outline some of these issues, but don’t detail exactly what numerical factors to apply to different markets. It is more of a general impression.
I was asked if, by issuing this caveat, have we not undermined the figures just released?

Lastly, we hope to hear an announcement shortly of who will be handling the measurement of the 56 orphaned stations. As someone who has loved BBM/Numeris, working on a variety of committees, all of this is troubling to report. But don’t look now, a new era in radio measurement may be upon us sooner than you think.

Moving forward, let’s take a look at five market results from this book.


Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CBC Radio One which is way out in front (again) delivering a 16.8% share for A12+ (up from 15.8% in Spring 2020). Hot 89.9 grabs the number one spot with ladies 25-54 delivering a 12.2% share (down from 12.9% in Spring 2020). CBC Radio One holds the number one spot for males 25-54, posting a 9.3% share (down from 10.7%). CHEZ106 leads the way for M18-34 with an 8.4%. For F18-34, Hot 89.9 leads, posting an impressive 18.9% share.


CBC Radio One grabs the number one spot for A12+ with a 16.7 % share of hours tuned (up from 13.9% in Spring 2020). Benefitting from fewer country stations in the market, top spot for F25-54 goes to QX104 with a 12.8% share (up from 11.3% in Spring 2020). In a very significant change, there is a three-way tie for top spot for M25-54 listeners, 9.7 % share for Power 97, 680 CJOB and CBC Radio One. QX104 heads the list for M18-34 with an 11.9% followed by 92.1 CITI at 10.6%. For F18-34, the favourite is QX104 at 15.2%.


CBC Radio One Radio takes number one with A12+, posting a 21.5% share of hours tuned (up from 18.5% in the Spring 2020 book). C100 Radio takes top spot for F25-54, delivering an 18.1% share (down from 18.2% a year ago). As usual, Q104 tops the list for M25-54 with a 22.6% share (down from 26.5% last Spring). For M18-34, Q104 leads the way with 28.2%. When it comes to Females 18-34 Move 100FM takes top spot posting a 28.7% share.


For originating stations, KX94.7 leads the way for A12+ with a 7.0% (down from 7.4% in the Spring 2020 book). K-Lite is popular with the ladies, taking number one for F25-54 delivering a 10.9% share (down from 12.1% last spring). For M25-54, Y108 remains on top with an 18.0% (down from 10.0%). Y108 also takes top spot for M18-34 delivering a 10.1% (down from 16.4% a year ago). KX 94.7 stays out front for F18-34 posting a 13.2 % share.


CBC Radio One is number one for A12+ with a 21.7% share (down from 20.4% in the Spring 2020 book). Ocean 98.5 is tops with the women, taking the number one spot for F25-54 delivering an 18.3 % share (up from 13.2% a year ago). For M25-54 The Q is on top at 19.4% share followed by the Zone with 17.7%. For M18-34 The Q leads with 27.0%. Virgin is #1 with F18-34 posting a 17.5%.

David Bray is president of Bray and Partners.