Latest NewsNumeris says 88% of radio's weekly reach maintained during pandemic

Numeris says 88% of radio’s weekly reach maintained during pandemic

Numeris says radio has been able to retain 88% of its weekly reach during the pandemic in spite of the massive disruption of Canadians’ work and commuter routines.

As of Mar. 16, when most Canadians began sheltering-in-place and/or working from home,  88% of weekly reach was retained during the first six weeks covering Mar. 16 – Apr. 26, compared to the previous six weeks encompassing Feb. 3 – Mar. 15.

When comparing the pre-COVID period (Feb. 3 – Mar. 15) vs. the COVID-19 period (Mar. 16 – Apr. 26), nearly 80% of women, 18+, and 83% of men, 18+, were reached weekly by radio during COVID-19 across the Canadian PPM markets (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton), compared to 92% and 93% respectively pre-COVID.
The Calgary and Montreal Franco markets experienced the highest weekly reach, 18+, at 85% and 83%, A18-34, during the COVID-19 period. Along with Edmonton, those three markets retained 90% of weekly reach, A5-54.

Radio Connects has published its own insights, based on both Numeris data and radio specific surveys done in conjunction with Maru Canada and Angus Reid Forum that tracked listening behaviour week-over-week in March and April.

Their findings indicate that despite changes in listening habits, Canadians are still connecting with AM/FM Radio.

  • As listening locations shift, Canadians are rediscovering radio at home with A18+ in-home tuning up +19%, A18-34 +16%, A18-49 +24% and A25-54 +26%. 
  • Streaming AM/FM Radio is gaining share of minutes tuned, up +32% A18+, +62% A18-34, +52% A18-49 and +52% A25-54, vs. Pre-COVID-19. 
  • Listening is occurring across multiple platforms with a +24% increase in streaming on smart speakers since pandemic measures were instituted. 

The study found that radio is more likely to be reaching those who are “out and about” like essential service workers and caregivers. It also looked at Canadian listener attitudes toward advertising during the pandemic, finding:

  • Canadians believe brands should be advertising, particularly if they give them important information on brands they regularly buy. 
  • 86% of Canadians believe that brands have an enormous platform to do good, while still earning profit.
  • Canadian companies that are taking an active role supporting workers and their communities will gain loyal customers. 
  • Radio listeners are “out and about” and more likely to ensure their household has enough essential supplies, and want to hear about sales, discounts, and reduced shipping on items they frequently purchase. 

Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.

* indicates required


Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

The Weekly Briefing - Subscribe Now – Free!

It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Events / Conferences