Toronto Radio Ratings: PPM Top-line Radio Statistics

radio ratings in TorontoI don't pretend to be a radio ratings expert. I understand what PPM is and how it works, but I don't know who's wearing these devices and how they source the survey participants. Do you need a landline to be considered? Do you need to nominate yourself? It would be interesting to know who these people are that drive the intriguing numbers below.

I can tell you these are the ratings for Toronto radio stations during the period of November 26, 2012 - February 24, 2013 and Cume (000) is the total number of people who were exposed to the stations for at least one minute during the analyzed period. Click to enlarge.

Screen shot 2013-03-07 at 6.15.17 PM

CHFI was the big winner followed by CHUM-FM and CBC Radio One. On the sports radio front, The FAN 590 pummelled TSN by a score of 3.4 to 0.8. And our old favourite, Edge 102, scored a 3.2 but they'll only care how they did with their target demo of young men. I can't imagine a lot of young men would wear the PPM devices.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you as surprised as I am by how well CHFI does with that holiday music crap?

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Comments (22 - click here to join in!)


None of these stations, with the possible exception of CBC1, has a target demo of "everyone" ... so the numbers are basically meaningless.

March 7, 2013 @ 7:09 PM


It's a bit depressing to see mediocrity doing so well.

As a radio junkie (not so much these days, I prefer podcasts) only once did I get the chance to do the radio survey thing, where you log your listening for 2 weeks and then send the results back- can't remember what it was called.
Truthfully, I lied lied lied. It was my one chance to support the radio I liked and I made full use of the opportunity.

March 7, 2013 @ 7:12 PM

mississauga phil

I'm not surprised. The baby boomers love thrm some CHFI. While so many gen xers and forward are getting into podcasts, the boomers are for the most part sticking with their radios. So many offices play CHFI because you never hear anything even remotly crude (Chum might play I kissed a girl by Katy Perry....the scandal).

And as you many edger listeners would use these devices. The boomers love to participate in surveys, it means society will keep running their way.

March 7, 2013 @ 7:14 PM


CHFI changed its playlist in the last couple of years, more recent stuff

March 7, 2013 @ 8:31 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rater is right. I see Mumford and Sons and Rihanna on this playlist for CHFI.

8:28 pm I'm Like a Bird Nelly Furtado
8:24 pm Diamonds Rihanna
8:14 pm Satellite Andrew Allen
8:11 pm Don't Stop Fleetwood Mac
8:07 pm Unwritten Natasha Bedingfield
8:04 pm Everybody Wants to Be Like You Snow
8:00 pm I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift
7:56 pm Sweet Surrender Sarah McLachlan
7:52 pm I Will Wait Mumford & Sons
7:43 pm Love Again Kreesha Turner
7:39 pm La Isla Bonita Madonna
7:34 pm I Won't Give Up Jason Mraz
7:31 pm Everything Michael Bublé
7:28 pm I Can See Clearly Now Jimmy Cliff
7:24 pm Try P!nk
7:15 pm One More Night Maroon 5
7:12 pm Back to You Bryan Adams
7:07 pm Big Girls Don't Cry Fergie
7:04 pm OK Cupid Elise LeGrow
7:00 pm Take On Me a-ha

March 7, 2013 @ 8:34 PM


Actually Mike the majority of listeners would like the Holiday (Christmas) music.
And as your CHFI playlist shows they have a wide range of music on their playlist for a wide range of listeners.
Doesn't surprise me they did so well.

March 7, 2013 @ 8:40 PM


CFMJ that is AM640 right?

March 7, 2013 @ 9:09 PM


Yes I believe it is 640
It would be nice to see the dial numbers.

March 7, 2013 @ 9:15 PM


Just more proof that most people are just a bunch of drones that do what everybody else does. Not much individual thought happening. Big companies bank on this type of behaviour.

March 7, 2013 @ 9:34 PM


Why would anyone listen to radio anymore at all? Deader than newspapers.

March 8, 2013 @ 7:40 AM


Looks like Bill the Shill's ratings are still low.

March 8, 2013 @ 8:42 AM

519 Rob

The one thing that the CHFI Christmas music may have going for it is offices, small businesses, etc. You may not like what you hear, but at that time of year, it's what a lot of offices tend to play.

March 8, 2013 @ 8:56 AM


The Christmas music factor cannot be underestimated. There are stations in medium to large American markets that go from a 2.0 to 7.0, 8.0 or higher by playing Christmas music. A "problem" with that is that there is incentive for those stations to aggravate the already-too-long-for-many Christmas season by commencing their seasonal format change earlier and earlier every year. And yes, those stations go right back to their "normal" ratings right after Christmas.

March 8, 2013 @ 10:37 AM


Why do people dump on radio listeners? There is some good programming out there if you know what you're looking for (Little Steven's Underground Garage, David Marsden's 10 weekly hours of open format). It doesn't eat up your data plan and never requires an upgrade. Just because it's old media/technology, doesn't make it ALL crap.

March 8, 2013 @ 11:56 AM

Ryan Bonnar


Radio is very much alive. In fact, the amount of time Canadians spent listening to radio on average has gone up slightly, based on recent statistics.

US numbers state that over the last decade, the number of Americans who own/use AM/FM radio is between 92-96 percent.

Wasn't radio supposed to be dead after the first TV's were being sold way back when?

March 8, 2013 @ 3:36 PM


I hardly listen to radio anymore. Don't even mention the Christmas music. It sucks. I listen to my MP3s most of the time. I can choose who I want to listen to.

March 8, 2013 @ 4:46 PM


And CFRB's ratings keep dropping.. They must have twice the payroll of any other station - but nothing to show for it.

March 9, 2013 @ 2:16 PM


As a Gen-Xer, I am still a dedicated radio listener. Although I'm busy with the kids and work, I have the radio on most of the time, passively listening.
My habits include:
1. classical music from 9 to 2 on CBC Radio 2
2. David Marsden on Saturday and Sunday night on The Rock
3. Leafs hockey on 590 and 1050
4. CBC's The World at 6 for news
5. Laurie Brown's The Signal from 10pm-midnight on CBC Radio 2
6. George Strobo's show on Sunday night on CBC Radio 2
7. Jian's Q show from 10-11:30 (he has fantastic 'gets')

Radio is not dead and I don't have the time for dedicated podcasts.
The options ar

March 11, 2013 @ 11:22 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


That's a pretty good lineup.

If I'm in the car, it's either 590, 102.1 or CBC Radio One, depending on what they're airing.

When I'm not in my car, it's a lot of CBC, except not "on the radio". For example, I listen to The World at 6 on-demand via the CBC News app for my android device. And I never miss an episode of Under the Influence because I download it as a podcast.

March 11, 2013 @ 11:29 AM


Most offices have CHFI on which could skew some of the results. In terms of holiday music, yes, during this period, CHFI had a lot of holiday music on but I think that is over-emphasized. People are so busy during the period, that they hardly have time to listen.

I believe that ratings are generated by a mixture of surveys and the electronic methods - I know this is true in the world of TV - I'm not sure in the world of radio.

March 13, 2013 @ 7:30 PM


I see CFMZ (Classical 96) continues to hand CBC Radio 2 its hat. Are you listening CBC?


March 15, 2013 @ 10:52 PM

Bob Johnston

I worked in radio in Montreal in the 60 & 70's and radio is still very much alive today. I do agree it is listened too more by boomers, but they are the ones with disposable income and that's why advertisers are keeping radio alive and well, very well in Canada and the USA.
The most important thing is, you can listen hands free.

April 16, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

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