Tag Archives: radio

Don’t Cry For Me CBC

I vowed, really I did, not to publish any more articles about the CBC.

So, I’m cheating a bit, because this really is about the CBC, but via the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting. (Who I also vowed not to write about, again, ever.)

But this is actually quite good.

Part of their campaign to sidetrack adverts on CBC Radio.

In return for breaking my vow, I have one request of the Friends of Canadian Broadcasting — please let us know just how many hits on the video file you get from inside the CBC.

Ads on CBC Radio? Mouth of Gold – FCB from Friends of Canadian Broadcasting on Vimeo.

We’re Number One (repeat)

The latest radio ratings came out this week, and CBC Radio One is congratulating itself for one of its best ratings periods ever.

On closer look though, it seems that, like every other radio station in the world, there’s a fair bit of selective fun with numbers going on.

Here’s the headline from CBC’s official blog:

CBC Radio cleaned up in the latest audience measurement report released by BBM.

In radio they call it the book, and it was an outstanding showing

(You can get also get an overview of the ratings, nation wide, at Broadcaster magazine.)

In Toronto, CBC is high-fiving for becoming “number one” for the first time ever.

CBLAFM are the call letters of Toronto’s CBC flagship – and it scored a 9.4 share in this round or ratings.

BBM defines share as “total hours tuned to that station expressed as a percentage of total hours tuned to all radio” in the market.

That’s great of course, but there are some in the broadcast industry who think very little of share. Mostly because if your listeners keep their radio tuned for long period of times, your share will be higher, even though a competitor may have more listeners.

Most commercial stations look at reach – defined by BBM as “estimated number of different people, within…the market area, who tuned to that station for at least a quarter hour during the week”

In other words, how many people are actually listening.

Within CBC, making Toronto local radio a winner is a huge deal – and for any of my former colleagues who are celebrating this weekend, good on you.

But when you look at CBL’s reach, whether in the central market (i.e. the city) or full coverage (the entire broadcast range), it’s far from number one.

In full coverage reach, CBL comes in 3rd in the 17 stations identify by BBM

And in the central area of Toronto, CBL does less well. With 696,100 listeners, they’re in 5th place.

In Vancouver, it’s a slightly different story, and very different numbers.

Unlike Toronto, CBC Vancouver won’t be using share to claim number one spot – that’s because in share they’re second, well behind CKNW.

What does make Vancouver CBC number one is a great technical infrastructure. Their full coverage reach is an awesome 612,400 listeners, thanks to excellent transmitter coverage across the lower mainland. This is miles ahead of their closest competitor – and their closest full coverage reach competitor isn’t news/talk station CKNW, but CFBTFM – better known to you as The Beat.

When it comes to the Vancouver central area however, the numbers go quite differently, with CBC well behind CKNW, CFBTFM, CHQM and are on par with CKZZ.

In Vancouver central, CBC Radio One is actually 4th.

What does it all mean ?

Externally, nothing really.

CBC Radio doesn’t currently sell advertising so they can claim #1 all they want, but when the radio sales teams from private stations hit the street to sell, CBC isn’t even on their chart.

Internally – it means everything, particularly as CBC eyes the current government cuts with apprehension.

You just had to listen to Heritage Minister James Moore interviewed on CBC Vancouver this week to hear how big a concern it is for CBC. Speaking to him about the government’s financial plan, on no other question did they push him for an answer except for one – will CBC be getting cut. When minister Moore didn’t answer the question directly, they went on to ask it 2 more times.

The other issue for CBC surrounds CBC Radio Two. With massive changes to the schedule last fall, the ratings are not looking good. So having a great story to tell about CBC Radio One will go a long way to deflecting the heat on Radio Two’s poor performance.


The full BBM highlights are online and summary level information is a free PDF dowload, so have a look and make your own charts and graphs to show how your station in #1, in something.

I’ve got a couple of other charts you can take a look at. Like those above, click for a larger version.

Canada’s Big Media Still Big

I know with the long weekend ahead, you’ve been wondering about the state of media in Canada – now you can rest easy and enjoy that extra day off.

Big Media in Canada is doing just fine.



The CRTC today released its Communications Monitoring Report. In the past the Commission published one report on the state of broadcasting, and one on the telecommunications industry, and this is the first of their ‘converged’ reports – presumably to reflect the state of the industry.

The report makes it clear that the Canadian broadcast sector is doing just fine, despite dire warnings of its impending demise thanks to the internet. The report also shows just how big a role the internet plays in our every day lives and consumption of entertainment.

Here are some facts pulled from the CRTC report.


  • Revenues for private commercial radio stations increased by 6.2%, from $1.4 billion in 2006 to $1.5 billion in 2007.
  • Commercial television revenues increased 4.3%, or $218 million, from $5 billion in 2006 to $5.3 billion in 2007. This was largely due to increased subscriber revenues of $152 million.
  • Revenues for specialty, pay and pay-per-view television and video-on-demand services increased by 9%, rising from $2.5 billion in 2006 to $2.7 billion in 2007.
  • Revenues for private conventional television broadcasters went from $2.1 billion in 2006 to $2.2 billion in 2007, an increase of 1.3%. During this period, revenues for English-language stations grew by 2% to $1.8 billion, while those for French-language stations fell by 2% to $381 million
  • Online advertising continued to experience growth, with spending rising from $900 million in 2006 to $1.2 billion in 2007.

English Canadian use of…

  • RADIO: 18.3 hours of per week
  • TV: 26.8 hours of per week
  • INTERNET: 13.4 hours per wee


  • The number of Canadians who have watched a video online has more than doubled over the past three years, with user-generated content being more popular than professionally produced programs.
  • Among the more popular online activities in 2007, 36% of Canadians watched a video, 16% listened to a streaming radio station and 17% downloaded music.
  • 11% of Canadians reported downloading and listening to a podcast on either their computer or an MP3 player, an activity that is seen as a complement to conventional broadcasting.

It may just be a case of bad timing, but just a couple of weeks ago, a CBC submission to the CRTC more-or-less argued Canadians aren’t using the Internet for entertainment. (you can read the CBC’s full position here)

Today’s CRTC report shows that we are in fact using the internet for entertainment. One of the most popular online activites happens to be…watching videos. At the end of the day, regardless of the facts, the CBC’s argument in it’s submission seems to be that since it hasn’t figured out how to make money online, online shouldn’t be considered a business opportunity for Canadian broadcasters.

Given that traditional broadcast is still showing yearly increases in revenue, I’m not sure they’re in any hurry to try figure out how to make money online, despite the fact that Canadians are consuming a huge amount of content online. To my mind, that bodes well for smart nimble companies that can jump into this obviously ripe market while the ‘big boys’ sit back and wait for it to be a more predictable business opportunity.

(cross posted here)

Internet Radio Cracks ?


Bloomberg’s reporting that AOL and Yahoo may pull the plug entirely on their web radio. Why ? A 38% increase in royalties to air music.

Yahoo and AOL stopped directing users to their radio sites after SoundExchange, the Washington-based group representing artists and record labels, began collecting the higher fees in July. Those royalties may stifle the growth of Internet radio, which increased listeners 39 percent in the past year, according to researcher ComScore Inc. in Reston, Virginia. full story here

The wheels started coming off the bus back in March when the copyright board brought in pay-for-play fees based on recommendations by record companies.

If more internet radio stations follow suite, the people who’ll be hurt the most are the artists themselves as they watch their online exposure dwindle.

Now that makes sense.