Media Beat
Media Beat

Media Beat: May 29, 2020

David Bray summarizes the latest PPM survey findings

These are crazy times in the era of “Work from Home” Covid-19. I come to you today direct from my bedroom. This latest release marks the second installment in the new world of diary measurement. Continuous measurement? Well, sort of.

In theory, all but the smallest markets will now be measured for a period covering 48 weeks of the year. During those 48 weeks, markets will be surveyed every other week. Four weeks at the end of December and the beginning of January are not measured. I suppose the term “continuous” is used in order to keep pace with their larger market (PPM) brethren.

Each surveyed household will be limited to one week per year, assuring broader coverage.

This as compared to PPM methodology, which surveys the same people week after week.

For this book the majority of the diaries were processed before the start of the pandemic.

As such, no data from the pandemic period is included in the Spring 2020 Radio Diary release.  However, as a result of not being able to enumerate and measure in the last few weeks of March & April, this release will include the 12 weeks sample from Fall 2019 (6 measurement weeks) and eight from the new sample, for a total of 20 weeks. The remaining four weeks will consist of diaries from the previous Radio Diary release (either Spring 2019 or Fall 2018) as needed. The Spring 2020 Release will include mostly new samples as designed for Continuous Measurement. Some markets may not need to borrow from the previous release.

Numeris won’t be listing which markets will do the borrowing. To quote SNL’s Gilda Radner (if you remember her) …it’s always something.
Any sample borrowed from the previous release are chosen at random (not by week) and cannot be broken out or looked at in isolation as all weeks are processed together.

All 80 Central Markets have been reported.

For a deeper dive, visit Bray & Associates.

For now, let’s take a look at five market results from this book.

Ottawa-Gatineau: Bragging rights at the top of the ratings heap go to CBC Radio One, which is waaay out in front delivering a 15.8% share for A12+ (up from 14.9%). Hot 89.9 grabs the #1 spot with ladies 25-54 delivering a 12.9% share (up from 12.7%).  CBC Radio One holds the #1 spot for males 25-54, posting a 10.7% share (down from 11.4%). Hot 89.9 leads the way for M18-34 with a 10.2%. For F18-34, Hot 89.9 leads, posting an impressive 21.9% share.

Winnipeg: CBC Radio One grabs the #1 spot for A12+ with a 13.9 % share of hours tuned (down from 14.3%).  A dead heat with the top spot for F25-54 was 103.1 Virgin, posting an 11.4% share (down from 12.4%) tied with KISS 102.3 at 11.4% (up from 6.4%). 92 CITI holds the lead for M25-54 listeners, delivering an 11.9 % share (down from 13.5%).  92 CITI heads the list for M18-34 with a 13.8% (down from 16.2%). For F18-34, the favourite is QX104 at 20.3%. (up from 16.2%)

Halifax:  CBC Radio One Radio takes #1 with A12+, posting an 18.5% share of hours tuned (down from 19.2%). C100 Radio takes top spot for F25-54, delivering an 18.2% share (down from 16.6%). Q104 tops the list for M25-54 with a 26.5% share (up from 23.6%). For M18-34, Q104 leads the way with 25.2% (up from 21.5%). When it comes to Females 18-34, C100FM takes top spot posting a 21.2% share.

Hamilton: For originating stations……..102.9 K-Lite leads the way for A12+ with an 8.8% (flat with the last book). K-Lite is popular with the ladies, taking #1 spot for F25-54 delivering a 12.1% share (down from 13.5%).  For M25-54, Y108 rules with a 10.0% (up from 8.2%). Y108 also takes the top spot for M18-34 delivering a 16.4% (down from 16.8%). KX 94.7 steps up and out front for F18-34 posting a 19.7 % share (up from 15.9%).

Victoria:  CBC Radio One is #1 for A12+ with a 20.4% share (up from 20.0%). The Q is tops with the ladies, taking #1 spot for F25-54 delivering a 17.1 % share (up from 13.0%). For M25-54, The Q is on top at 19.8% share, followed by the Zone with 19.1%. For M18-34, The Zone leads with 34.0% (WOW).  Ocean 98.5 is #1 with F18-34 posting a 23.1%.

Torstar purchase financed by Postmedia debt holder

The Star's Marco Chown Oved and Josh Rubin shed new light on the pending deal in a story that ran on the newspaper website late Thursday. It offered a surprising twist to a pending deal that has had Canada's media in thrall for the past week.

The ties that bind or just coincidence? Canso currently holds $95.2M in Postmedia debt and it is Canso that is loaning $52M to NordStar to acquire and privatize TorStar.  It’s a fascinating story that lends itself to all sorts of intrigue, imagined or otherwise. The story hasn’t ended, but in the balance is the history, vitality and ongoing worth of a newsroom that has been bunkered and hunkered down with the gloom of cutbacks, job insecurity and the knowledge of the company's corporate debt. Blunty put, this is a story badly in need of a happy ending.

Speculating on the future of The Star under new ownership

The hope is that Nordstar will do to the Star family what Jeff Bezos did for the Washington Post: Sink a bunch of money into it and not care about making a profit for a while.

The worry is that Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett are either (a) lying about their intentions and are more interested in the Star’s real estate than the newspaper, or (b) will make a series of poor business decisions and eventually bail when they get tired of losing money.  – Steve Faguy, Fagstein

Will The Star become a pitch sheet for the Conservative agenda?

Whether this is an investment vehicle or a vanity project, super-rich owners with longstanding ties to the Conservative Party wouldn’t seem to augur well for the Star’s ability to maintain one of the only centre-left editorial positions among Canada’s major newspapers.

With Postmedia’s foreign owners ordering all the papers in the chain to endorse the Conservatives in 2015, and presumably again last election, the Star was one of the only newspapers in the country to endorse a party other than the Conservatives over the last several cycles.

How comfortable will the Star’s editorial board be, under this new ownership, with endorsing something like a wealth tax? It’s backed by 75 percent of Canadians but never comes up in the corporate media for some reason. – Ethan Cox, Ricochet

And here’s what the lads at NordStar Capital have to say

The lads fall far short in matching the sartorial devilishness shown by former Torstar publisher John Honderich who loved batting about wearing one of his vast collection of candy-coloured bow ties.

From a prepared statement issued by the new suitors, Jordan Bitove and Paul Rivett: “We particularly think that Canada is better off with a national voice that represents working people, plays a role in advancing individual and civil liberties, and believes in community and civic engagement …”

Cyber fraud is out of control in Canada

Canada’s cyber defence agency has identified 1500 websites falsely parading as Government of Canada covid pages that are nothing but scams. Of particular interest to cybercriminals, and in particular state-sponsored ones, is Canada’s healthcare and medical research sector, where ransomware can be used to extort money from orgs, clinics, and hospitals. – National Post

Hats off to the Penticton Herald for its Safe at Home Concert

Following the success of Elton John’s iHeart Living Room Concert and the Canadian equivalent Stronger Together/Tous Ensemble, The Herald decided to do its own, with the focus being on local musicians.

The 45-minute video was professionally edited and features Penticton-area musicians mostly performing cover versions from their living rooms and backyards.

It's been retail hell in Canada over the past months

That's apparent in the growing list of bankruptcies, as well by a dreadful report from Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada data states that retail sales fell 10 percent in March to $47.1B. 

The numbers will likely be worse in April when retailers were closed for the entire month.  

Earlier this month, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. of Chicago reported that the largest shopping mall companies in Canada only collected about 15 percent of the rent due in May. – Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

And in Montreal, where retail is opening up again…

Outdoor lineups, once reserved for special occasions such as Black Friday, will be commonplace, with security guards watching over waiting shoppers.

Once inside, customers can expect a very different shopping experience, with masked employees, plexiglass barriers aplenty and multiple signs that underline hygiene measures and the importance of physical distancing. – Frédéric Tomesco, The Gazette

Has Amazon created the end chapter to Canada’s book industry?

Amazon and a liberal ‘fair use’ provision in Canada’s Copyright Act are devastating the book industry and the result is ‘no cash’ left for retail giant Indigo, publishing houses, authors, printers and designers. – Deborah Dundas, The Record

Postmedia to lay off about 40 employees after unions reject salary cuts

The newspaper conglomerate will lay off about 40 employees after a number of its unions would not approve a temporary salary reduction to help reduce costs amid the pandemic, according to a memo sent to staff.

In May, Postmedia reported a nearly eight percent drop in revenue for its second quarter, which ended Feb. 29… At the time, the company said it expects to qualify for at least $20.3M in emergency wage subsidies from the federal government. – Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

Corporate Canada bullish on recovery curve

Canadian corporate directors are confident the companies they oversee will rebound quickly from the current economic upheaval, but worry the rebound may come at a significant cost, according to a new survey by Environics Research.

Commissioned by the Institute of Corporate Directors, the survey found more than half of respondents — all of whom were drawn from the ICD’s membership — believed their companies would recover from the induced downturn in less than one year. They attributed the ability to bounce back to a variety of factors: Most had crisis response plans in place prior to the pandemic and said they had executed on them effectively, while 63% say they benefitted from federal and provincial aid packages.

It’s paying for the latter that is cause for concern … – Victor Ferreira, Postmedia

Google rolls out program to combat coronavirus scams

The new program rolled out Wednesday to combat scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic as attempted cyberattacks and phishing scams have spiked during the crisis. 

The new "Scam Spotter" program, co-created with the Cybercrime Support Network, recommends a three-step process for individuals to consider before handing over personal information through a phone call or email. 

The program also tests the ability of an individual to spot a scam, gives examples of common ones such as those pretending to be from a government agency or bank and provides resources to report any scams to the Federal Trade Commission. - Maggie Miller, The Hill

Brands cut $50 billion from global adspend in wake of pandemic

Major adspend cutbacks in travel & tourism, leisure and entertainment, financial services, retail, and automotive brands expected to be in the double digits.

Global advertising spend is set to fall by 8.1% ($49.6B) to $563B this year, led by severe cuts in investment among major product sectors as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak finds WARC, the international marketing intelligence service.

Despite heavy downgrades across the board, the global decline in 2020 will be softer than that recorded in 2009, when the ad market contracted by 12.7%, or $60.5B. Record-high spending during the US presidential campaigns will stymie the US ad market decline to -3.5% in 2020, while stronger-than-expected first-quarter results show key media owners were in relatively good health heading into dire second and third quarters. – Campaign

News Corp kills print editions for 100 Aussie newspapers

The company which dominates Australia's media landscape said it would take 76 regional mastheads online only and shut another 36 altogether. As many as 1K jobs could be cut as a result of the restructure. ­– Al Jazeera

Facebook: a haven for conspiracists and bad actors

It isn't just researchers and journalists who have observed how effective Facebook is at converting regular people into hardcore conspiracy theorists - the conspiracists themselves have noticed too.

In private channels on the encrypted chat app Telegram - a haven for extremists of all kinds - the New Zealand anti-lockdown protesters discussed plans to recruit others. – Mark Daalder, Newsroom

Tencent Music Ent. Group: A sleeping giant that could be king

As of March 31, TME touts almost $3 billion in cash and short-term investments. TME's total debt is less than $19 million. The very healthy balance sheet can help TME attract more subscribers in China and other countries. Tencent Music can afford to expand to India and the rest of Asia Pacific. Competing against Spotify and Apple Music in India/Asia can accelerate Tencent Music's ascent toward 60 million paid streaming subscribers.

Going forward, TME could use some of its profits/cash reserves to produce and manage singers, bands, and other musicians. By controlling/managing its own roster of musicians and producers, Tencent Music will reduce its dependence on third-party music publishers like Universal Music Group. Producing its own exclusive songs, podcasts, and radio shows are akin to Netflix's tactic of massive spending on original content. Building a large library of exclusive content is what will attract new subscribers. – Motek Moyen, Seeking Alpha

Trump’s legal war to bring social media to heel

POTUS has signed an executive order prepared by his administration that tests the boundaries of the White House's authority. In a long-shot legal bid, it seeks to curtail the power of large social media platforms by reinterpreting a critical 1996 law that shields websites and tech companies from lawsuits.

The order targets a law known as the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 that provides broad immunity to websites that curate and moderate their own platforms, and has been described by legal experts as "the 26 words that created the internet."

It argues that the protections hinge mainly on tech platforms operating in "good faith," and that social media companies have not.

Trump's order directs an agency within the Commerce Department to file a petition with the FCC to clarify the scope of Section 230 and another section of the order would encourage federal agencies to review their spending on social media advertising.

"In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to hand-pick the speech that Americans may access and convey online," the order says. "This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic. When large, powerful social media companies censor opinions with which they disagree, they exercise a dangerous power."

The Communications Decency Act isn’t the only place where the text of Section 230 appears. It also happens to be part of the digital chapter of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, where it was included to ensure that the protection it provides technology companies in the U.S. is applicable right across North America.

Wired reports the FCC has no power over Section 320 as there can be no ambiguity over its interpretation, and The Hill provides its own exhaustive coverage of the latest POTUS news headliner that seems to suggest that, in the end, freedom of speech laws trump Trump.

Zuckerberg questions truth in defending Trump

As President Donald Trump lashes out at Twitter for fact-checking two of his tweets and prepares an executive order targeting social media companies, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has weighed in — on Trump’s side.

In a May 28 interview with Fox News, Zuckerberg said that his social media company has “a different policy than Twitter on this.”

“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth,” Zuckerberg told The Five co-host Dana Perino.

No shit, has either one ever been accused of being a truth-teller?

Oops! Early day wobbles at Quibi

The mobile-focused streaming service featuring short-form content is reportedly in trouble just a month after launch. According to a WSJ report, many of its major advertisers are looking to defer payments as the company seeks to implement cost-cutting measures. – TechSpot

Ah, but those really were the days: Saint–Tropez as Babylon

For today's jet set, a term used loosely here to describe the Bungalow 8 crowd—supermodels, top designers, First Daughters, Pakistani arms dealers, Russian prostitutes, C.E.O.'s, Harvey Weinstein— Saint-Tropez is just one stop on the yearlong circuit of seaside resorts, which include Ibiza, Sardinia, and St. Barts. All have breathtaking scenery and glorious water. But for wanton, Babylonian decadence, nothing beats Saint-Tropez.

On a typical night out, any self-respecting male can expect to part with between $3,000 and $8,000, though truly manly tabs run into six figures. One simply cannot get admitted to a club without a group of girls (who don't bother carrying money), and each host must buy crates of Cristal, bottles of which range from about $400 to $30,000. Sometimes they drink it. Other times, in what has become a widespread Saint-Tropez tradition, they shake it up and spray it on friends. Artist and Saint-Tropez regular Peter Tunney chomps on a cigar and explains the inner meaning of this charming folk ritual: "'I'm throwing money down the toilet. Now fuck me, bitch.'"

Beyond one's ability to waste champagne, nothing says "Fuck me, bitch" better than a giant luxury boat. Each summer, thousands of tourists a day, over their $4 "CocaLights" at Cafe Sénéquier, on the Quai Frederic Mistral, can gaze into the gleaming boats lined up in the main port—such as the 446-foot Turkish Savarona, once owned by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish republic; the 355-foot Grand Bleu, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, which reportedly has its own dry-cleaning plant; and the $100 million Tatoosh, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who has been known to tear it up at the local nightclubs. (Allen's new boat, Octopus, has room for two helicopters, a multi-car garage, and a basketball court.) A prime spot for a large yacht costs about $100,000 a week and is said to involve greasing the harbormaster's palm. – Evgenia Peretz, Vanity Fair (July 2004)

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