Friday, January 27, 2012

CBC Radio 2 Market Share - the Fall 2011 Survey

Once again it is time for us to review how successful CBC Radio has been with their restructuring of the CBC Radio 2 programming.

Those of you who have been following this blog through its intermittent postings will know that we are examining the audience for CBC Radio 2 in the major cities surveyed by the Bureau of Broadcast Measurement. We are comparing the current audience for CBC Radio 2 stations in the most recent survey done by the BBM with the audience for CBC Radio 2 stations before the CBC began their program of restructuring. In this case, we are comparing the audience for CBC Radio 2 stations with the audience that the stations had in “S2” 2007, the last survey performed by the BBM before the CBC introduced its new programming. For those of you who have not been following this blog: now you know.

The idea is this: if the CBC Radio 2 programming restructuring has been successful, the audience will have increased. After all, this was the stated intent of the programming restructuring. If the CBC Radio 2 audience has fallen since the restructuring, then the initiative was unsuccessful.

“But wait” you may be saying to yourself “people are listening to radio less and less. The decline in the CBC Radio 2 audience may be due simply to the decline in the overall radio audience itself, not due to the decline in the CBC Radio 2 audience.”

So indeed we have examined this as well. We have compared the total radio audience from S2 2007 with the total radio audience for the most recent survey performed by the BBM to determine if people are listening to the radio less often. As the results show, this is the case. But more importantly, the decline in the CBC Radio 2 audience has been greater than the decline in the audience for radio programming in general. This, as you probably may realize yourself, is not good.

The results are summarized below.
While the total radio audience in Montreal has actually increased by 6.2% since S2 2007, the CBC Radio 2 audience has declined by 46.5% since S2 2007. Not good.

In Vancouver, the total radio market has dropped by 17.2% since S2 2007. The audience for CBC Radio 2 has, however, been decimated, falling by 54.2%. This should be alarming to CBC Radio management, no?

The only bright spot for CBC Radio is Ottawa, where the audience for CBC Radio 2 has actually increased by 5.8% since S2 2007, in a market that has declined by 7.6% since S2 2007. We’ll have to watch this to see if it’s just a one-time blip, or a trend.

A word about the survey data: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary are surveyed using the Portable People Meter, or PPM. Winnipeg and Ottawa are surveyed using Radio Diary Data. For an explanation of the differences between the two methods, see the BBM site.

Radio Diary Data is issued twice a year, in the Spring and Fall. The latest BBM Fall survey covers the period from September 5 2011 to October 30 2011, while the most recent PPM data covers the period from August 29 2011 to November 27 2011, termed for the purposes of this analysis as “S8 2011”, to be consistent with previous BBM naming conventions.

This analysis therefore uses the Fall survey for Winnipeg and Ottawa and calls this data “S8 2011”, as well as the PPM data for the remaining cities. Data for S4 2010 is included in the Summary above since this was the most recent survey for which we did the analysis and which also included Diary Data for Ottawa and Winnipeg. We missed performing this analysis for the Spring 2001 Diary Data survey. We may add this analysis some time in the future, just to be complete.


Anonymous said...

holy crap! go back to classical music!

James Wooten said...

Too late, I'm afraid. CBC Radio management execs have the flexibility and open-mindedness of mules, it seems.