Metro FM suffers major drop in listenership figures

This comes after the second radio audience survey report was released from the new BRC RAM format, which introduced fresh measurement instruments.

While it is extremely difficult to technically assess how the 90% local music quota affected 19 of SABC’s radio stations, the reported listening patterns over the course of the year shows that Metro FM is one of the platforms that suffered the most in both its average daily cume and one week cume.

What is ‘cume’, anyway?

It’s short for ‘cumulative audience’. Therefore, it refers to the number of people who listen to a station for at least five minutes during any time period.

According to the BRC November report, a daily average cumulative audience of 2, 273 000 tuned into Metro FM from January to June, however, the station saw a drop of 75 000 during January and September.

In its one week cume, Metro FM went from 4, 159 000 to 3, 968 000 from January to June, and January to September, respectively.

Justine Cullinan, who is a columnist for The Media Online, as well as, the station manager at 5FM, believes that Metro FM’s 2016 figures are a reflection of the drastic changes in the station’s popular Sunday programming after the introduction of  the 90% quota.

“Generations of South Africans grew up on Metro FM’s Sunday programming and until the 90% decision was made, they boasted a highly unusual proposition in that their Sunday listening beat out their weekday drive shows over and over again,” she wrote on the website.

To put things into perspective, Metro FM boasted a weekly listenership of 6,388 000 in the last quarter of 2014, according to a RAMS report by the SA Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF).

According to the report the station reached 6, 856 000 weekly listeners towards the end of 2015.

Other SABC stations that saw a drop in their average daily and weekly listeners are Thobela FM as well as Motsweding FM.

Ukhozi FM managed to reign supreme as the biggest radio station in the country, after managing to amass more than 7 million listeners a week from January to September.

5FM also saw an increase in its numbers.

The BRC will release transparent, stand-alone radio figures four times a year based on six months’ worth of data collection, which began from 7 January, 2016.

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