Canadians’ Consumption of Community Radio on the Rise

OTTAWA, November 15, 2022 – The National Community/Campus Radio Association (NCRA/ANREC) in partnership with Abacus Data, released new polling data exploring how Canadians are consuming community radio on campus.

“In a time of need, where do you turn? To your community. That is no different in life than it is in radio,” said Barry Rooke, Executive Director of the National Community/Campus Radio Association. “COVID-19 changed how Canadians live their lives and consume media. In a recent study conducted by Abacus Data, we found that since 2017, the number of listeners tuning into campus and community radio has increased by over 4.4 million listeners.”

The data indicates that Canadians are listening to more campus and community radio than ever before. Since the initial survey in 2017 commissioned by the NCRA, listenership is up 14% across Canada. 65% of those who identify as an immigrant listen to some form of campus or community radio as well.

“With a rise in disinformation, Canadians are turning to local radio and looking for a connection that they can count on,” said Alex Freedman, Executive Director of the Community Radio Fund of Canada. “Many rural and small committees feel left out from the national and major broadcasters. These broadcasters often under-represent Canadians or indigenous people who don’t feel represented national news outlets. With stations broadcasting in over 65 languages across Canada, there is a local station for everyone.”

Survey findings include:

·              66% of Canadians consume local news through campus or community radio stations.

·              64% of Canadians consume national news through campus or community radio stations.

·              68% of union members listen to some form of campus or community radio.

·              74% of Canadians who are active in their community listen to campus or community radio.

·              Since 2017, listenership of campus and community radio has increased by over 4.4 million listeners.

·              Men are more likely to listen to campus or community radio than women.


The survey was conducted with 1,500 Canadian adults from September 29th to October 2nd, 2022. A random sample of panelists were invited to complete the survey from a set of partner panels based on the Lucid exchange platform. These partners are typically double opt-in survey panels, blended to manage out potential skews in the data from a single source. The data was weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population.

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About National Community/Campus Radio Association:

The National Community/Campus Radio Association is a non-profit association representing 100+ not-for-profit radio stations across Canada. Our members include both campus stations and community stations from coast to coast, all of whom are licensed with the Canadian Radio-Television and Commission.

About Community Radio Fund of Canada:

The Community Radio Fund of Canada is an independent not-for-profit funding organization. Its mandate is to provide support to the more than 180 campus and community radio stations in Canada and to foster a well-resourced, dynamic, and accessible media sector that delivers strong local community broadcasting.

About Abacus Data:

Abacus Data is one of Canada’s leading public opinion and marketing research firms.  Having conducted research for some of North America’s leading corporations and advocacy groups, we deliver global research capacities with the attention to detail and focus of a boutique firm.

National Community/Campus Radio Association

Barry Rooke, CAE

Executive Director

Community Radio Fund of Canada

Alex Freedman

Executive Director

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