Radio listeners across the country have once again taken pen to paper to log their listening patterns as part of Research International’s Radio Audience Measurement Survey. And the latest results show that audience levels have remained much the same when compared with the same period last year, with MediaWorks radio claiming its first ever most listened to network title.
“Listenership trends over the past decade demonstrate a two percent growth in cumulative audience levels,” says Gill Stewart, The Radio Bureau’s general manager. “This demonstrates the continuing strength of the medium in an environment where consumers have a wider range of media choices than ever before. Radio stations have continued to embrace new platforms to reflect listener behaviour.”
In the all important national cume audiences for 10+ category, the total number sits at 2,238,000, putting it pretty much neck and neck with results over the same period last year (2,239,000). In other words, commercial radio reaches 77 percent of all people aged 10 years and over across the country every week.
The 18-34 demo had the biggest cume increase nationally, though once again it is marginal, up one percent to 630,000 from 622,000 on the same period last year. In Auckland, however, it notched itself up four percent to reach 275,000. Stewart says the increased cumulative reach in this category demonstrates how the extension into mobile apps and social networks is offering new, content-rich ways for stations to engage with their audiences, and of course advertisers.
“These closer connections offer advertisers opportunities for multiple touchpoints with strong station brands; on-air, online, on-street and on-mobile,” she says. “Savvy advertisers are able to successfully leverage these personal relationships and the strong connectivity between station and audience to endorse their advertising messages.”
Elsewhere, the remaining two nationwide categories experienced dips in listenership. The lucrative HHS with Kids demographic experienced the biggest drop, down five percent to 326,000. The 25-54 demo experienced a smaller drop, down three percent to 1,128,000.
In Auckland, Newstalk ZB remains the number one station for AP 10+ with a 13 percent share and remains the station with the highest number of listeners with a cumulative audience of 185,600 (incidentally these radio results have been followed by a rumoured shake-up in commercial radio where Newstalk ZB's Sean Plunket has confirmed he’s leaving the station, reportedly for a spot at MediaWorks’ RadioLIVE).
In the 18-34 demo, the Edge increased its share from 8.6 percent to 13.5 percent, taking the number one position in Auckland for this demographic.
Although the HHS with Kids category suffered a blow nationally, radio station ZM seems to be doing its bit to prop it up. The station remains the number one station in Auckland for HHS with Kids with a 10.2 percent share and remains the station with the highest number of HHS with Kids listeners with a cumulative audience of 26,400. But Classic Hits isn’t far behind, its HHS with Kids share increasing from 4.2 percent to 9.6 percent. It also added a further 4,900 new HHS with Kids listeners, taking its cumulative audience to 21,000.
New radio station The Sound continues to go from strength to strength, increasing its share across all survey demographics with highest share increases from 18-34 audiences, up from 1.3 percent to 3.8 percent.
George FM increased its 18-34 share from 5.5 percent to 7.3 percent. It also added a further 2,400 new listeners in the 18-34 demo, taking its cumulative audience to 36,600.
Of course, it wouldn't be a radio survey without MediaWorks and The Radio network (TRN) putting out the usual press releases extolling the virtues of their respective stations.
In its release, MediaWorks states that it has become the “most listened to radio network in the country, with a 46 percent national share (All 10+), relegating TRN to second place (43 percent) for the first time”.
It also states: “In the all-important 25-54 demographic, MediaWorks Radio increased its dominance, growing its 25-54 year old share to 54 percent (an eight percent increase), while The Radio Network dropped to 35 percent (shedding nine percent).”
TRN proudly states that Mike Hosking’s breakfast show on Newstalk ZB continued to dominate breakfast ratings with a growth in audience share to be number one on 16.6 percent, “a massive 12 percent lead over Radio Live breakfast”.
The release opens with a proclamation that the network has the number one talk and number one music networks, with Newstalk ZB once again New Zealand’s number one radio station, growing audience share to 12.9 percent.
Elsewhere, TRN’s group general manager of content David Brice comments:
“In Auckland Classic Hits has double the audience share of More FM, a superb achievement. Our new drive show hosts Jason Gunn and Dave Fitzgerald blitzed it, increasing Auckland and network audience shares”.
All the figures quoted by TRB are based on Mon-Sun 6am-12midnight.
The survey, held twice yearly, is managed by the Radio Industry Research Committee (RIRC), chaired by the Radio Broadcasting Association (RBA) and include representatives from The Radio Bureau (TRB), RadioWorks, The Radio Network and the Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand.