Latest Study on Canadian Music Listening Offers Up Some Surprises (Hint: Radio is Doing Just Fine)

This week, Edison Research presented the results of its first-ever study into the music listening habits of Canadians. Their “Canadian Share of Era” survey looked at everything from radio to streaming in an effort to figure out how we all get our music fixes these days. (Study size was 1,022 Canadians aged 13 and over.)

All Audio

  • The average Canadian spends 4 hours and 14 minutes a day consuming audio. Of that time, 61% goes to broadcast radio.


  • The average Canadian spends more than four hours a day with radio.
  • Morning drive is the most popular (72% of listening) followed by middays (62%) and–get this–59% of listeners from 12m-6 am.
  • 74% of radio tuning in the country goes to music stations.
  • Radio is stronger in Canada than in the US where the share of radio listening is 54% and streaming is 15%.

Owned Music

  • Prefer the music you bought? Of the time spent listening to music, 16% is to CDs, vinyl and digital files

Streaming Audio

  • Canadians continue to adopt streaming but penetration has only reached a 9% share of listening.  That means radio is about seven times more popular for music than streaming. (Note: We don’t get services like Pandora, which is very popular in the US.)

Satellite Radio and Podcasts

  • Still pretty nichey. Only 4% of spent time is with SiriusXM, which is only one percentage point higher than podcasts.

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.

Alan Cross has 38430 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Latest Study on Canadian Music Listening Offers Up Some Surprises (Hint: Radio is Doing Just Fine)

  • I love radio as much as you do, but if continue with the rahrahs the whole thing is going to get disrupted all to hell. New ways of listening to audio/music will come, cars will do away with tuners, bean counters will to program stations to shit and before you know it the usual suspects will show up with a chorus of “we don’t know what happened?” (and mysteriously suddenly embrace government intervention).

    Your talk the other day was great, except that is based on the premise that quality wins, one listen to any for profit FM station can tell you that quality isn’t winning. If anything because playing the same Foo Fighters or Green Day tracks over and over is not quality (even if i like those two bands). Stats like this only show Corus, iHeartwhatever and the whole gang are just lucky not being some sort of paragon of quality. And no, creating another walled garden (radio player, etc) is not innovating – just because TuneIn didn’t let them control the ads on the page they went and shot themselves in the foot.

    People will gravitate towards truly good radio Rodney (whose show just got axed by KROQ), Radio Paradise, Soma, the branded channels on Sirius, your HoNM show, Morning Becomes Eclectic (and a ton of other KCRW – yes it’s not commercial, yes it still needs underwriting), Giles Peterson, a good chunk of Apple’s Beats 1, a shit ton of BBC shows are proof of this. Not random ipads on shuffle with a dozen songs that make the Edge and all the other stuck-in-97 stations of the kind in North America indistinguishable from each other.

    We have to do better.



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