Nominees: The Edge, RNZ, Radio Hauraki
When Leon Wratt, MediaWorks programming director, was asked to pick his standout station when the first radio results of this year were released, it was Mai FM that got his nod. And when looking at the numbers and its growth of 33,100 listeners, it’s hard to deny the station our pick for Hottest Radio Brand.
While the ascendancy of hip hop and RnB has been ongoing since the 1990s, its dominance of the mainstream music discourse has burgeoned in the last decade. The country’s top 40 charts currently boast the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Future, Jason Derulo and Drake, and the recent sell-out shows for Bruno Mars’ New Zealand tour have helped revitalise the genre’s underwhelming live scene. Broader sections of the population are tuning into stations like Mai FM and Flava to get their musical fix, but with Flava boasting a weekly audience of just 191,500 compared to Mai’s 386,800, Mai FM has managed to strike a chord between entertainment and music that Flava has yet to find.
Although lower than The Edge’s weekly audience of 662,300, pop’s wide-ranging remit (and steady co-opting of genres like hip hop) means the station has a more natural advantage over its more genre-focused competitor. But Mai FM gets the nod from us for being Auckland’s number one music station and its growth across all age groups. Off air, the station boasts more than 26,000 Facebook followers, 31,000 Instagram followers and 18,200 Twitter followers who are keen to keep up with local hip hop and RnB goings on.
Radio Hauraki also gets a nod from us for its growth across all demographics to reach an overall weekly audience of 218,400. Compared to its competitor, The Rock, whose audience has been declining, Hauraki puts up a valiant fight during rock music’s transition period.
People’s Choice Award
Fletch, Vaughan & Megan (ZM)
Nominees: Jono, Ben & Sharyn (The Edge), Breakfast with Matt & Jerry (Radio Hauraki), Morning Report (RNZ), 9th Floor (RNZ)
In 2014, Polly Gillespie and Grant Kereama departed their ZM post after 20 years at the helm, making way for the younger trio of Fletch, Vaughan & Megan who were poached from The Edge’s drivetime
show. Since then, the trio’s dynamic repartee and Vaughan’s enthralling series of family anecdotes have helped revitalise the station’s breakfast slot, with the first radio survey for the year showing that it grew by 12,700 to reach 273,000 listeners. Off air, the hosts regularly feature in NZME’s WatchMe offerings, with several of their videos—such as their attempt to recruit Lorde as a babysitter—racking up thousands of views from their 100,000+ Facebook fans.
When speaking of the results, NZME group director of entertainment Dean Buchanan said he was particularly pleased with the performance of the show, which won the most listeners among 18- to 34-year-olds across the country.
Over on The Edge, the newly combined team of Jono, Ben & Sharyn have unleashed their witty approach to the station’s afternoon slot. However, the trio saw a drop in the recent survey to see 327,700 listeners tune in from 4-7pm. That’s despite a change up in talent with Jono and Ben joining earlier in the year to replace Guy Williams and Clint Roberts.
RNZ’s consistent Morning Report offering and its daring new 9th Floor series (both of which feature the excellent Guyon Espiner) also deserve a special mention, with the latter currently ranking as New
Zealand’s 27th most popular podcast on iTunes at the time of writing.
People’s Choice Award