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Commercial radio listenership remains consistent

As Kiwis adjust to the ‘new normal’, commercial radio stations are enjoying consistent numbers according to new data released by the New Zealand Commercial Radio Industry.

The S2 2022 GfK Radio Audience Data found that 3.68 million Kiwis aged 10 and up listen to the radio each week, compared to 3.72 million reported in the last survey.

Jana Rangooni, Radio Broadcasters Association CEO, says there are a range of factors impacting people’s lives and listening habits in ways they were not a couple of years ago and these might not change.

“There are still far more people working from home or in more flexible ways. Educational attendance for those at high school or some kind of tertiary education has been impacted strongly and people are looking at car versus public transportation in major cities differently when they are paying more than $3.00 a litre for petrol at the pump.”

She says things like this can cause changes in listening patterns along with the other choices for entertainment in homes and on phones which has the greatest impact on the younger audiences.

“While there is large amount of attention on the audiences delivered by global media platforms and public media in New Zealand, today’s results are a reminder of the fact Commercial Radio has some of the largest, most loyal and engaged audiences in New Zealand.”

News and talk radio are still seeing strong numbers and Rangooni expects this will stay this way over the next few years as the economy goes through some challenging times. 

“Music radio is still a great place for so many people to get music they love and hosts that entertain them when they need it.

“Radio still has some of the largest, loyal and engaged audiences of any medium in the country particularly for audiences over 25 and radio is a trusted medium which makes it a great environment for brands to be in to be heard.”

For the 25-54 audience, NZME continues to pick up share for the second survey in a row (+1.35 percent). Independents show little growth and MediaWorks sees -1.22 percent decrease. 

Newstalk ZB has retained its position as the country’s top commercial radio network for the 14th year in a row, with NZME seeing continued growth across its radio platforms.

Gold FM leads the way with an additional 26,000 listeners tuning in, followed by Coast (21,500) and Radio Hauraki (20,500). 

Music radio station ZM also has the most listeners in the country across the highly competitive 18-39 and 25-54 year old demographics.

Michael Boggs, CEO New Zealand Media and Entertainment (NZME), says commercial radio platforms continue to offer a variety of content to service and meet the needs of different audiences.

“Whether they listen through traditional platforms or via digital radio, Kiwi audiences remain highly engaged with commercial radio, which is great news for New Zealand’s radio industry now and into the future.”

Jason Winstanley, Chief Radio Officer, says the results show that NZME is continuing to deliver on its strategic priority of continually growing the reach of its audio platforms – be that digital audio or traditional terrestrial radio.

“I’m really proud of our teams and the results of today’s survey, continually growing our overall audience numbers, with some fantastic results and growth across many of NZME’s radio brands.  

“After two and a half years of bumper results in GfK Radio Surveys, with the likes of Newstalk ZB listenership skyrocketing due to people being at home during Covid lockdowns, it’s pleasing to see that the station’s audience numbers remain incredibly high – well above any other network and significantly higher than pre-Covid levels,” he says.

MediaWorks has kept its position as the country’s leading commercial radio network with the survey showing that it has more than 2.44 million people tuning to its radio brands every week across New Zealand.

Cam Wallace, MediaWorks CEO, says commercial radio continues to play a huge role in Kiwis lives in terms of both entertainment and information via traditional and digital platforms.

“Being live and local has been a key strength in ensuring commercial radio remains resilient and that the sector is vibrant and thriving in the years to come for our audiences and advertisers.”

Leon Wratt, MediaWorks Director of Content, says the network is pleased with the results of the survey.

“We all know the power of radio when Kiwis are commuting so it’s great to see MediaWorks has five of the top six music stations at both breakfast and drive.

“The results also show that MediaWorks continues to lead the way in the commercially important 25-54 demographic with The Breeze, The Rock and More FM taking out the top three spots respectively by share. Our 25-54 audience share is also now at 58.2 percent, up 1.3 share points and ahead of our nearest commercial competitor by more than 25 share points.

“It’s pleasing to see that overall, commercial radio continues to perform strongly, with more than 3.4 million people, or 75 percent of New Zealand’s population tuning in every week. These results are a reflection of a true team effort to deliver the very best for our listeners and advertising customers.”

With 75 percent of all New Zealanders 10+ tuning into multiple commercial radio platforms each week Peter Richardson, The Radio Bureau General Manager, says these results show that radio continues to play an important role in our lives and “offers advertisers opportunities to reach engaged listeners in a targeted manner”.

About Author

Ayla Miller is a Feature Writer/Sub-editor for SCG Media Business titles, NZ Marketing, StopPress, Idealog and The Register.

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