Broadcast Radio is Alive and Well and Living in Canada

In a couple of weeks, I’ll moderate a panel at the Ontario Association of Broadcasters Convention on the future of radio. Where is AM/FM going in the near- and long-term? Some industry heavyweights will give their opinions.

Ahead of that, though, a quick survey was conducted by Audience Insights, just to give us a baseline for the discussion. Here’s what was discovered by quizzing 1,505 Canadians on their radio listening happens.

  • 6-in-10 listen to AM/FM radio daily.
  • 1-in-10 tune into a streaming music service daily.
  • Spotify was the most-cited streaming music service with 29% listening at least once a week. Songza was second (17% and Apple Music was third (11%).

Jeff Vidler, who conducted the survey for Audience Insights says “There are lots of new ways to listen to music—just as there were in the past with eight-tracks, cassettes and walkmans. Even with the new music streaming services like Spotify and Songza, Canada’s live local radio stations still have very much their own space and continue to do very well.”

Other things to be discussed at the session will be the streaming of terrestrial radio on smartphones and the whole idea of listening to FM radio via FM chips that are already in almost every smartphone but not yet activated.

And interesting aside: the CRTC says that 67% of Canadians now own a smartphone. Tablet ownership is now up to 49%. And 93% of us have access to LTE wireless, leading to a 15% increase in data consumption by mobile devices.  Can you imagine how that would go up if roaming fees were banned like they are in all 28 EU countries?

The session happens November 10.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Broadcast Radio is Alive and Well and Living in Canada

  • October 30, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    And if only broadcast radio would offer the variety that streaming does…here in Ottawa, the only remaining FM station dedicated to real rock (106.9 The Bear) changed format last year, so now there are at least 3 or 4 stations all playing the same drivel and no more rock. And no, Chez 106 doesn’t qualify as a real rock station–sorry. I’m still angry. And that was the catalyst for my Rdio subscription.


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