Radio Ratings |  When is the true portrait?

The Numeris Winter 2023 Survey for Radio was released a few days ago. In the Montreal area the picture is practically the same. Cogeco’s 98.5 still dominates and ICI Premier follows closely behind.


These results, published twice a year, allow radio stations to declare themselves at the top of the field. And for those broadcasting ads, solid tools to attract advertisers.

However, it should be noted that these data can be very different if calculated differently. In fact, most of us listen to programs in catch-up mode. Most radio stations have websites or dedicated platforms (OHdio) that offer this tremendous flexibility.

However, Numeris, the company responsible for preparing radio ratings reports across the country, does not take this reality into account.

Radio-Canada gave me the most telling statistics for listening to Ohadeo. During the winter of 2023 (December, January, February), the monthly average was 1,259,581 connections (998,567 by ICI Premiere produced target content and 260,575 by ICI Music).

In catch-up mode we realize that various factors make some shows more popular than others (such as format and duration of shows, time slots that don’t match our habits).

Hence, ICI Premier and ICI Music programs are listened to more in catch-up mode day (still young), Penelope, All in one morning, It is very good And Today’s story.

At Radio-Canada, we can’t wait for these results to be integrated into live listening. Radio-Canada’s general manager of audio and radio, Carolyn Jamet, said, “It’s clear that the listening data is currently incomplete. When a global portrait is provided, we will see the full footprint and better determine the impact of the public broadcaster, which is far greater than what is currently provided. »

Image courtesy of Radio-Canada

From Jean-Sébastien Girard, Jean-Philippe Wauthier and Olivier Niquet day (still young)

At 98.5, the most listened to radio station in Canada for the fourth year in a row, we also want this system to arrive as soon as possible. “It is clear that it will give a better image, project director Julie-Christine Gagnon told me. The industry is changing and we are becoming more and more content distributors. People are switching to digital based on their interest. »

On the website of this radio, we present some parts of the programs. Columns by Pierre-Yves McSween and Jonathan Trudeau and journalism review by Paul Arcand are among the most popular. An average of over one million listeners watch these segments every month. Since the start of the season (August 2022), 1.8 million audio clips from the show Because you have to wake up were asked.

I also asked Suzanne Landry, vice president of content development, programming and information for Bell Media, about this option.

Entrance doors are now more numerous. If the data is combined, it will allow us to get a better overview.

Suzanne Landry, Vice President, Bell Media

On Bell Media, listeners can listen to catch-up programs in their entirety or in segments. Parts of the show Veronique and wonderful Huge hit (125,000 downloads per week).

Radios can get catchup listening results through Adobe Analytics. This data takes into account the number of connections, not the number of people listening (the system does not take into account the number of people listening to a program with you). It should also be noted that links are calculated nationally and do not provide data by region.

In short, does this change the final table? The answer is definitely yes.

This calculation method affects the ranking of radio stations and their broadcasts. But beyond that, there is an important aspect to the future of our media and our culture. “These data will allow us to better understand the penetration of Quebec content among the public, especially among young people,” says Sébastien Charlton, lecturer and researcher at the Center for Media Studies at Université Laval. “We are moving towards an ecosystem that holds a lot of data. And knowing can clearly influence cultural policies. »

At Numeris, I was told that it would not be technically difficult to develop a system like the one already used (in some Canadian markets) to measure television viewing. Thanks to the combination of several calculation methods, we are able to paint a more accurate portrait of the multiplatform audience.

At the moment, radio ratings are calculated using people meters (small devices that can be loaned to roughly targeted listeners) in some markets and good old diaries in other markets.

Those completing these forms should identify the name of the station and the time of hearing. Additional details must be provided to receive a catch-up request. That too is not possible now.

The world of radio is currently experiencing a major upheaval, which guarantees its survival and offers a brighter horizon. Let’s hope that the technologies that allow us to follow this revolution will arrive as soon as possible.

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