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You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.
(Daniel Patrick Moynihan)

Document T082

Importance de la musique à la radio en 2008: un sondage auprès des Canadiens

Prepared for CMRRA-SODRAC inc. and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, October 2008


This study is based on a custom telephone survey which reached 1,500 Canadians aged twelve and older and which is representative of all Canadians of this group. The estimates produced from these data are adjusted for age, sex, language and region of residence.

The questionnaire was built around five research questions. It comprises four sections (reasons to listen to the radio, reasons for choosing a particular radio station, hours of music listening, socio-demographic data) and a variable number of questions, depending on the characteristics of participants. It has been pretested.

The sample of telephone numbers was created by specialized software that produces both listed and unlisted numbers. Within each household, one person was randomly selected on the basis of the last birthday. No substitution was allowed.

Data were collected between September 22 and October 11, 2008 — a difficult period to survey because of a federal election campaign and the introduction of the National Do Not Call List. The refusal rate was 52% while the response rate was 22%, according to industry standard calculations.

The margin of sampling error is a maximum of ± 2.9 percentage points for the entire sample, for estimates of proportions. It is ± 3.6 percentage points for the subsample of radio listeners and ± 4.4 points for the group of commercial music radio listeners.


CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. and the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) retained the services of Circum Network inc. to conduct a study on the relative importance of music, as an element of radio programming, on the attractiveness of listeners to radio stations and private commercial radio in general.

Our mandate was to gather information to answer the following question: what is the importance of music to radio stations? We have considered the issue from two angles: (1) is music an important pull factor to the radio and to a particular station, and (2) is music an important factor in retaining listeners to radio and to a particular station?

1. Music in the choice of radio

The first angle of view is to document the place of music in the adoption of radio as a recreational activity and in the preference for a particular station. The premise is that if music is important in these decisions, it is crucial to the radio business that seeks to attract an audience to its medium and to a particular station.

Using various angles of questioning (unprompted reasons to listen to the radio and some radio station, rating of importance of several reasons offered, identifying the most important reason), the following emerge:

2. Music and retention on the radio

The second angle is to document what is known as the counterfactual hypothesis: what would be radio without music? Our hypothesis is that, without the music that characterizes it, a particular station would lose an important share of its audience (though it can develop another one, but at some cost) and that, without music, radio as a medium would lose some of its audience to other recreational activities.

This study demonstrates the following:

127 pages, 1,046K [PDF format]

To reach us:

General address : service@circum.com
Benoît Gauthier : gauthier@circum.com, @BGauthierCEEQ
Tel. : +1 819 775-2620, Fax : (no more fax; sorry)
238 Fleming Road, Cantley, Québec J8V 3B4