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Study Shows Traffic Reports Increase Listenership


A four-year study of PPM data conducted by Research Director with the Canadian Traffic Network reveals that the misconception that listeners change the dial when traffic reports come on is the exact opposite. Research Director's study found that traffic reports actually garner higher listening levels compared to when traffic is not being broadcast.

Radio listening is measured using PPM technology in five Canadian markets: Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The firm studied 46 stations across these five markets that broadcast traffic reports provided by Canadian Traffic Network. It calculated the Average Minute Audience (AMA) for both "traffic time" and "non-traffic time."

Among the highlights of the study:

  • The three minutes around the traffic report have higher listening levels compared to non-traffic periods.
  • This was the case in each of the five markets examined.
  • On average for Persons 18+, Canadian Traffic Network's reports deliver 20% greater audience than when traffic is not being broadcast.
  • Among Adults 25-54, traffic reports deliver an even greater audience (+20%) than non-traffic times.
Research Director President Charlie Sislen said, "The Canadian Traffic Network study shows once again that traffic reports are in their own league when it comes to boosting audience. In a PPM world, traffic reports are among the most valuable drivers of listening occasions."

Canadian Traffic Network President Lannie Atkins added, "As our advertisers already know, when traffic comes on the air, consumers reach down and turn up the volume. Validating that the station audience does not vacate during traffic, and in fact increases, shows the importance of this vital information that provides our advertisers with an engaged and attentive audience."

Research Director has conducted comparable studies for the Canadian Traffic Network over the past four years, using PPM data from 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. All four studies showed similar results and a clear pattern of audience gains when traffic reports air.

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