Pat Holiday's Take on Western Canada Ratings

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Pat Holiday's Take on Western Canada Ratings

Postby jon » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:51 pm

Part One: Western Summer PPM Rankings
By Pat Holiday
FYI Music News
Thu, 09/15/2016 - 07:58

This is the first of a two-part series covering the Summer 2016 PPM ratings, dissected and collated by Pat Holiday. Tomorrow we offer Pat's analyses of the Toronto and Montreal markets' Below, Pat's own words.

OK, where do we begin? For starters, in most markets it looks like there’s a passing of the baton to a new set of dominant stations. More precisely, it’s already happened. Many of the big iconic stations of the past are taking body blows.

But then this is only a summer PPM so listening patterns aren’t exactly normal. There are some disturbing, or excellent, trends going on depending on what station you’re working at.

And then there’s this:

Last PPM report I wrote about the growth of non-CHR stations (rock, alt rock, etc.) in uptrends across all markets.

Essentially the thought was that today’s CHR hits were all sounding the same and fairly weak compared to previous years. Stations depending on today’s hits were susceptible to being bland. Plus, most of the top 25 hits on Billboard were slow. That didn’t help. It was easy to start looking for other radio choices.

There was more, but that’s the meat of it. Then just last week Sean Ross wrote a great similar article and he dissected it all in detail. It’d behoove you to read it -- Which Format Has Tempo? At The Moment, None.

Particularly if you have a music station that is a CHR or competes against a CHR. Sean is about as fanatical at tracking music as any person I know. And he’s excellent at it. There’s a problem in current music and you need to adapt to that.

You can see this continuing in the summer books. Formats with tempo like Classic hits, Classic Rock, Country, Rock, even up-tempo A/C’s are doing pretty well. Country out west, including even Vancouver again is strong. Like any cycle it’ll turn back to the norm, but for now the songs of these formats are simply better suited to radio listeners overall at the moment.

As an aside, if you’ve got a new CHR type band and want to break onto airplay, this is a huge opportunity. Cutting an UP-tempo song is likely going to jump you ten times beyond normal to get your song added. What’s up-tempo? Cut your song 4 or 5 times in a row and then look at your drummer. If he’s not sweating, it’s not up-tempo. But, that’s an article for another time. This is ratings.

Lastly before we get into the numbers there’s an easy, albeit time consuming, fix for all this. You’ll be able to see any problem in your music coming from a mile away and adapt ahead of time. I described it all in detail for clients a couple of years ago. Consider this a freebie: Find One Song That Defines Your Station.


12+, the big story to me would be Corus and more specifically Country105. They got served up a head on competitor for the first time in decades and come out even stronger. Maybe it’s true. Competition does breed greatness. And…their sister station, or is that brother, is a close second.

[A12+ Ratings shown here]

Anyway…here’s what really matters.

Adults 25-54 – You don’t see this much so congrats are in order. Country105 is still on top. Seeing them on top isn’t such a big deal, they usually are. What IS a big deal is seeing them on top, while growing larger, with a head on competitor. Pretty nice. Most of the rest of the top 5 stations are down. They look like this in order. Country105, X92, XL103, Q107, and CJAY92.

For Women 25-54, like an old broken record, Country 105 is #1. And it’s up 2 shares to boot (no pun intended). KISS is #2 followed by Virgin, JACK, and KOOL in that order. KOOL made a big jump. We’ll see if it holds for fall.

Trending up: JACK, UP, & X92.9

Trending down: KISS, Virgin, & XL103

Males 25-54

The ranking of male stations is identical to last time. X92 on top, followed closely by CJAY, XL, Q107, and Country105. The difference though, is that the first three stations are all down in shares. Q & Country105 both had some nice jumps this rating.

Trending up: 660News, AM1060, UP

Trending down: Newstalk770 & KISS

Adults 18-34 – And…the young end is bouncing around in this market too. Last book X92.9 was number one with a 6-share surge. This book it disappeared as they fall to number 3. Number one is CJAY92, a station all but thought for dead a year ago. Nice turnaround, especially with guys. Second is Country 105. Probably a lot of sampling last book to the new country station. This book, most of their listeners returned. Virgin is up a bit and fourth. XL103 slides a bit to 5th.

So how do the men and women shake out?

Women 18-34 – Seems country is currently hot with young ladies. First Vancouver, now here. Or was it reversed? Anyway, Country 105 leads with a 5-share jump. Virgin is up and right on Country’s heels. Picking up with the rest of the top 5 there’s X92 (down almost in half), KISS, and KOOL in that order.

Trending up: KOOL, & Wild

Trending down: XL103

For young Males 18-34. CJAY92 is back where it used to be, #1 and doubling the next ‘guy’ station. That number two station would be Country 105, which is up nicely. Third is X92, fourth is XL103, and Q107 is fifth.

Trending up: CJAY, Virgin, Sportsnet960, & 660News

Trending down: JACK, & KISS


“NOW! Is a juggernaut and getting stronger.” That’s literally what I wrote for the last TWO ratings. It’s true yet again with another share and half gain. CISN Country made some healthy gains but their number two position is a long way from NOW!

[A12+ Ratings shown here]

Adults 25-54. The Top 5 players are roughly the same but there’s a lot of shuffling---except at the top. NOW! climbs even higher and stays number one. CISN Country goes to 2 from 3. The Bear goes to 3 from 2. Sonic takes 4th up from 7th. And K97 has fifth, down from second last book. Whew…did you follow that?

Females 25-54 – You know this almost looks ridiculous. NOW! sports a 10-share lead over an already very strong CISN in women. That’s like a license to print money. Bounce is third, Sonic takes fourth with a 2-share jump, and Capital is 5th. Every one of these top 5 stations gained this rating except Bounce.

Trending up: NOW!, CISN, UP!

Trending down: Fresh, K-97, & Virgin

Males 25-54 – For a brief moment in the spring, The Bear ruled guys like ye days of old. But come summer that ended. Now…is NOW! on top, again. And then comes the Bear. CHED is third followed by K97 and a revitalized CISN.

Trending up: CISN, Sonic, & Capital

Trending down: UP! & Fresh

And a little something for those under the age of 35…

Adults 18-34. Here we go again. NOW! is up again and even stronger. But its lead is about the same as last book over #2 SONIC, because they’re up a couple shares also. Bounce is third, The Bear is fourth, and CISN Country is #5.

Why those top 5 are at the top all comes down to their demos.

In Women 18-34, NOW! is down a couple but still crushes #2 SONIC with almost 30% more young women. Bounce is third; CISN Country is fourth, while Virgin moves up into the top 5.

Trending up: Sonic, Bounce, Virgin, & Bear

Trending down: Fresh, & K97

Males 18-34. Sonic is #1 again with young guys, although NOW! had a 5 share jump back into second place from fourth. Third in guys is The Bear followed by CHED and K97. Maybe it’s the economic downturn in Alberta or just better programming, but CHED has been climbing pretty strongly now for the past 4 books in this demo. Last book 9th, today it’s fourth.

Trending up: SONIC, CHED, & Virgin

Trending down: K97, CISN, & Fresh


It’s almost a dead heat for #1 among the commercial stations. QMfm leads CKNW by a tiny tenth of a share.

[A12+ Ratings shown here]

Taking out the microscope and looking more closely:

Adults 25-54 – CFOX salespeople get to smile the most. They move from 4th to top of the pack. Virgin is down but moves up a rank to second. QMfm is down and drops to third. Zed gains a couple shares and moves into fourth, while Rock101 drops from #1 to #5 when it’s large jump last book didn’t hold.

For Women 25-54 – You can make an educated guess that the audience of QMfm went to Zed. Zed’s up just about what QM lost. So Zed is now #1 with the ladies. QM is second, Virgin third, CFOX fourth, and LG fifth. LG had more than a 100% jump this book. A rarity. Like JR & Rock101’s big gains last book, the task is to hold it.

Trending up: Zed, CFOX, LG104, JR, CKNW, & News1130

Trending down: QMfm, Virgin, & KISS

25-54 Males. There’s a bit of audience movement for guys but generally speaking, it is still a Corus game. CFOX moves up 2 shares to number one while ROCK101 slips to #2. Virgin, QMfm and CKNW round up the top 5.

Trending up: CFOX, Virgin, CKNW, LG, & JR

Trending down: JACK (5th in a row)

Adults 18-34 - Z95.3 jumped almost 30% to a 16 share and totally dominates this demo, especially women. Virgin is second, then JR Country, Rock101, and The Peak. Lots of big stories in this market too for young adults. They become clearer when you split up men and women.

Women 18-34: Zed is up 5 shares (on top of the 2 share jump last rating) and is flat out #1 with young women by a wide margin. This used to be QM territory. No more. Then comes JR Country. Last book they jumped a whopping 6+ shares. This book they that and gained another 2 shares. Stunning. Clearly that station is resurrected, and fairly quickly at that. Virgin is third. PEAK is fourth and Rock101 is #5.

Trending up: Zed, JR, LG, & CKNW

Trending down: QMfm & News1130

Males 18-34: Shaken not stirred for this demo too. Virgin moves from second to first. CFOX keeps their shares identical but drops down to second. Rock101 continues on its upward march and is now third. PEAK and Zed finish off the top 5.

Trending up: Rock101 (up 7 last book, up again this one), Zed, KISS, LG, & CKNW

Trending down: QMfm
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