Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Canada Dry

First question. Surprised by the PUR (persons using radio) drop in Canada? I’m not.

Second question. Surprised that the greatest decline in listening came from 12-34 year olds? I hope not.

Third question. When will their spin begin? Any moment now.

We’ll hear the excuses about Canadian PURs being decimated by Internet use, iPods, satellite, texting, and video games. You know, the same stuff the lower 48’s been trotting out for the past few years.

Eleven years ago Canadian teens averaged 11.3 hours of radio listening per week. By 2005 – when Canadian radio deregulation was in full swing – that number plunged to 8.5. Last year it plummeted to 7.6.

PUR with 18-24 males slid from 15.1 hours to 13.7. 18-24 women down, down, down from 15.4 to 13.7.

Overall, Canadians listened to radio an average of 18.6 hours during last fall’s national "measurement week." That number’s tumbled from 19.1 hours in 2005.

That’s not a slump – that’s a dump

Why do these numbers coincide with radio deregulation in that country?

So what didn’t you learn, Mr. Canadian programming decision maker? Was it that when faced with new competition you try harder? Improve the product? Provide raison d'être for listeners not to abandon you?

In a battle of wits the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) came unarmed. Didn’t our Clear Channelization of radio teach you anything? Who advised you? Michael Powell?

No one doubts or argues diversion. What we have here is radio’s failure to communicate with younger demos. They aren’t offered motive to listen. The stations are homogenized, predictable, and out of synch with popular culture.

Leave it to the CRTC to follow America and allow fewer companies to own more radio (and TV) stations. What happened here is now happening there.

I was under the impression the Canadian national animal was the beaver. I stand corrected. It's the lemming.

Why follow someone else’s lead when they’re not leading?

Your media used to be so Apollonian. In a good way.

You’re Canadians, dammit! Look what happened when you let the NHL go south of your border?

You have Rush.

We have Rush Limbaugh.

Remember CHUM, Ltd.? Who would’ve thought they’d be on the block? Voice-tracking and corporate programming has become routine.

Sense a pattern here?

With few exceptions, Canadian radio now sounds as bad as much of the radio in the U.S.A.

Some Canadians blame us for ruining their radio industry.

At least we can blame the Canadians for one thing.



Anonymous said...

You got this one right. You should hear how bad the Vancouver stations sound today. We had good radio stations up until 2 - 3 years ago and now it is a chore to listen to. Like the states everything is being bought up by the conglomorates. The same is true for television. City TV has become sh-tty TV.

Anonymous said...

O Canada. Your CRTC is as bad as our FCC.

Anonymous said...

I meant to post this here: Toronto radio sucks too. I can't listen. I bought a docking station for long drives. Screw terestrial radio.