Portable People Meter (PPM) Technology Comes to Toronto Radio

radioToronto radio is about to get a reality check. We're about to get a clearer, more accurate look at who's listening to what stations and how often.

9000 people across Canada are, as of today, wearing PPM devices. Here's what these PPM devices do, according to the BBM Canada press release.

The PPM is leading edge technology that allows BBM to follow television viewers no matter where they watch television, and record radio listening to one minute accuracy almost anywhere the listener is, in real time. The television system it replaces is wired to BBM panelist's television sets. The PPM is about the size of a pager and automatically detects inaudible codes that broadcasters embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by BBM. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into docking stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes via modem, to BBM for tabulation.

The old honour system radio diary system is dead. You can no longer listen to EZ-Rock and claim you were tuned into CBC Radio. On a daily basis, true data is being collected from these 9000 peeps. The truth will soon be known.

I'm guessing some Toronto stations are in for a shock. Some are not as popular as they think they are, while others have far more listeners than previously suspected.

Any guesses out there as to what this new PPM technology will teach us about Toronto radio?

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Comments (8 - click here to join in!)


I'm not sure I'd want to be the CBC right now unfortunately. then again, I do know many more people who legit listen to it than listen to CHUM FM. Actual number of CHUM listeners I've met in 30 years of life who weren't just listening to it because it happened to be on or was the first thing not playing commercials = 0. that said, they'll likely be ok because why you're listening doesn't matter, it only matters that you are so because of office buildings they're real numbers might be somewhat inflated.

September 3, 2009 @ 1:50 PM


my family was chosen around june to wear the new PPM devices which is pretty cool since what i watch/listen to has an impact on candian radio and television...just need to remember to take it off before jumping in a pool

September 3, 2009 @ 2:03 PM


mike, when are the first results expected in?

i have always loathed chfi's cheeseball morning show, and other adult contemp stations with homogenous sounding, unfunny, and fake laughing jocks.

there might be some surprises, but won't soccer moms in whitby still listen to chfi/ezrock/virgin, and 18 year old white kids not into rap listen to the edge?

September 3, 2009 @ 5:00 PM

Toronto Mike

I think we'll all be shocked to learn everybody is secretly listening to AM 740.

September 3, 2009 @ 10:22 PM


I'll bet the results aren't that far off what the present "book" results are... Just an educated guess.

September 4, 2009 @ 4:24 AM


BTW, last time I was home, with the exception of a couple of stations, Toronto radio is shit. BBC6 music rules!

September 4, 2009 @ 4:28 AM


I don't see how you can get accurate readings from 9000 PPM'S across all of Canada. How many are in each city ? Toronto alone because of it's size should have 9000. Toronto with it's surrounding Suburbs has millions of people.

November 14, 2009 @ 6:51 PM


BBM needs to roll out PPM to the smaller B and C sized markets. Having two simulataneous audience measurement standards makes no sense.

October 20, 2010 @ 6:33 AM

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