CBC misjudged demand for radio ad sales on music stations, analyst says


CBC/Radio-Canada’s poor numbers from its experiment with paid commercials on Radio 2 and Espace Musique show that the public broadcaster “clearly” misjudged the market for national advertising on its music-focused radio channels, one industry watcher says.

The CBC raised $1.1 million in revenue from ad sales on the two music-focused networks in the 2014 broadcast year, according to the CRTC’s annual report on the financial results of Canadian commercial radio stations.

That’s well below the $10 million the CBC hoped for when the CRTC approved its plan to air ads on the two channels.

Canadian Media Research Inc. president Barry Kiefl said the broadcaster assumed there would be much more demand for the four minutes of ads per hour dictated by the CRTC.

“It raises the question of why they did it in the first place,” Kiefl said. “They clearly had not gauged the marketplace for national advertising very accurately.”

The new ad money also wasn’t nearly enough to cover an $18.2-million decline in government funding for the 2014 broadcast year, according to the CRTC report. Total revenue for the CBC’s 82 radio stations fell 5.6 per cent to $287.6 million for the 12 months ending Aug. 31, 2014.  Continues at thestar.com