Canadians aged 12 and older were tuning into radio for an average 19.1 hours each week during 2005, a drop 24 minutes from the 2004 average of 19.5 hours, according to an 135-page report on media use published by Canada’s Radio-television and Telecommunications Council (CRTC).
That’s not much different from the tuning trends of American radio listeners, who have about the same level of time spent listening (TSL). Billboard Radio Monitor reported in late May that the average weekly TSL to radio was 19:00 hours, a 15-minute drop from the Fall 2005.
The Internet has had only a minimal effect on Canadians’ use of radio, but there has been a significant decline in TV viewing because of the Web. “In some instances, the Internet has influenced Canadians to decrease or increase their use of broadcast media,” the CRTC wrote. “Overall, there has been a net decrease in the use of television viewing. Radio appears to be minimally effected by Internet use.”
The report says that 40% of Canadian households with Internet access had a computer in the same room as the TV in December 2005. Of these, “57% watch TV while using the Internet either sometimes (25%) or often (30%),” according to the report.
The CRTC also wrote that the amount of tuning to Canadian radio stations via the Internet is “still insignificant” but that it “continues to rise annually.” As a percentage of total tuning, this type of listening amounted to a 0.3% share of total tuning in 2005.
The CRTC’s report says that Canadians’ radio TSL held steady in 2003 and 2004 at 19.5 hours, but overall “weekly listening levels have decreased by roughly one hour and 25-minutes from 1999 to 2005. This decrease is most notable in the teen demographics and for adults aged from 18 to 34.” As a percentage, the 1999-to-2005 decline amounts to a decline1.4%.
The biggest drop in listenership was among the 25-to-34 demo, which had a 3.2% decline since 1999. During that same period, teens aged12-17 had a 2.7% decline and the 18-24 demo fell 2.1%. As of 2005, teens spent 8.6 hours listening to radio each week, while 18-24 year-olds spent 15.2 hours and the 25-34 year olds spent 18.1 hours.
Older individuals spend more time with radio but the oldest of these have curtailed their listening more then their somewhat-younger counterparts, according to the CRTC study.
The 35-49 and 50-54 year olds spend 21.0 hours and 21.5 hours, respectively, with radio and have had a much-smaller decline in their TSLs. Listeners aged 55-64 and 65-plus, who spend 21.9 hours and 21.6 hours with the medium, have registered a somewhat larger decline in their TSLs since 1999. In this case, the declines are 1.3% and 1.1%.