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For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
(H. L. Mencken)
The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and the Société du droit de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs au Canada (SODRAC) retained Circum Network Inc. to conduct a study on the relative importance of music, as an element of radio programming, in attracting listeners to particular radio stations and to commercial radio in general.
Our mandate was to collect information that would essentially provide an answer to the following question: How important is music for radio stations? We took two approaches: first, music is an important factor in attracting people to radio and to a particular station; and second, music is an important factor in retaining those who listen to radio and to a particular station.
1. Music in Attracting Radio Audiences
The first approach aims to document the role of music in a person's decision to listen to the radio as a leisure activity, and in his or her preference for a particular station. The premise is this: if music is important in these decisions, then it is crucial to any radio undertaking that is seeking to attract an audience to its medium and to its particular station.
This study establishes the following facts:
From these facts, we can conclude that music is central to the radio offering and therefore to radio as a commercial undertaking.
2. Music in Retaining Radio Audiences
The second approach aims to inform what we call the counter-factual hypothesis: What would radio be without music (from the audience perspective)? Our premise is this: without its characteristic music, a particular station would lose a significant audience (while being able to develop another, although at a price) and, without music, radio as a medium would lose a share of its audience to other leisure activities.
This study establishes the following facts:
These observations lead us to conclude that, without music, it would be difficult for music radio to retain its listeners with a talk radio format, and it would be difficult for radio as a medium to keep its clientele from turning to other types of activities.
This study is based on an original telephone survey that reached a representative sample of 1,071 Canadians aged 12 or older. The estimates produced on the basis of these data have been adjusted for age, sex, language and region of residence.
The questionnaire was organized around six research questions. It has five sections (hours spent on various leisure activities, reasons for listening to the radio, reasons for choosing a particular radio station, hypothetical questions on the absence of preferred styles of music on the radio, sociodemographic data) and a variable number of questions based on participant characteristics. The questionnaire was pretested.
The telephone number sample was created by a specialized firm providing both numbers that are listed in the telephone directory and unlisted numbers. One person in each household was selected strictly at random using the "most recent birthday" method. No substitution was allowed.
The data were collected between November 13 and December 9, 2001. The refusal rate was 41%, while the response rate was 40%, calculated according to industry standards.
The maximum sampling error is ±3.1 percentage points for the whole sample, for estimating proportions; it is ±3.3 percentage points for the radio listeners sub-sample, and ±4.7 percentage points for the commercial music radio listeners group.
The tests performed justify the confidence we put in these data.
273 pages, 640k [PDF format]
Circum Network Inc. was tasked by counsel to CSI, NRCC, and SOCAN with the design, the implementation and the reporting of a study to measure of the relative importance of various programming and non-programming features of satellite radio in consumers' decisions to subscribe to a satellite radio service and to maintain their subscription.
The study is based on telephone interviews with 1,000 subscribers to satellite radio services in Canada and on a sub-sample of 306 of these subscribers who completed an additional Web survey. The subscriber sample was developed using an automatic dialling-announcing device (ADAD) to place automated calls to a random sample of household telephone numbers. The fieldwork took place between April 9 and May 29, 2007
The study's design included built-in quality controls. First, the wording of the questions as well as the question ordering did not allow for the identification of the programming feature most interesting to the organizations funding this research. Second, neither the interviewers nor the coder was informed of the interests of the clients for this research. Third, the order of blocks of questions was randomly modified, respondent by respondent, to avoid sequencing effects. Fourth, a variety of types of questions and of angles of questioning were used, including strictly open-ended questions, to elicit the true preferences of subscribers. Finally, responses to open-ended questions were recorded to computer-readable sound files and transcribed verbatim outside of the context of the interview.
The findings of the study underscore the importance of music in current subscribers' decisions to initially subscribe and to maintain their subscription.
221 pages, 1.4 Mb [PDF format]
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]
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