Since mid-March the COVID-19 outbreak has radically changed where and how people work in Canada, as well as where and how they get news, entertainment and music.

Most radio listening used to occur during the rush-hour drive. As commuters went to and from work, they tuned into their favourite station and hosts for the latest news, entertainment updates and music to make their drive more enjoyable. Now that the majority of Canadians have switched to working from home, the patterns of listening have changed.

At the beginning of the lockdown tuning levels fell as many Canadians switched to working from home and weren’t listening to the radio in the car during the traditional daily commute. However, since the beginning of May radio tuning has slowly begun to climb and, if not yet reaching the pre lockdown levels, the analysis is encouraging.

Our radio dashboard, built using ConexAPI , looks at the shifts in radio tuning across the country during this period. It includes ratings by market, weekly reach, hours tuned, out-of-home vs in-home tuning and streaming.

Here are some highlights:

  • In Toronto the average minute audience for Adults 25-54 in August is 27% higher than in April and only 7% less than in March.
  • Weekly reach for radio for Ind2+ in Montreal was at its highest level in July and August since February.
  • In Vancouver, the average minute audience for A25-54 in August is only 4% less than a year ago, in August 2019.
  • In Calgary, weekend daytime listening is surpassing pre lockdown levels for Adults 25-54.
  • For Ind 2+ in all reported markets, we see in home listening declining as the out of home listening increases.

Clients with radio PPM subscriptions can access the full dashboard either through Lens or the home page of

InstarRadio PPM.

Click to access our recent webinar on TV viewing & advertising during COVID-19

Other blog posts:

Impact of COVID-19 on TV viewing

Podcast listening in Canada: who's doing it and how often?

3 reasons why you shouldn't have a data strategy


Posted by Anja Bundze

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