Latest radio survey shows more New Zealanders lending their ears

The latest ASA figures showed the radio industry grew its ad revenue by 2.5 percent and maintained stable share of all advertising at 11 percent. And it’s good news on the audience front too, with the latest six-monthly audience research figures showing that commercial radio in New Zealand has more listeners now that at any time in the past decade.

  • Check out the results here.

“Nationally, each week commercial radio reaches 81 percent of all people aged 10 years and over, an increase from 78 percent in the previous survey,” says Gill Stewart, general manager, The Radio Bureau, which is also sitting pretty after year-on-year revenue growth of eight percent in 2011. “This equates to 2,337,200 commercial radio listeners each week, up from 2,239,000 in the previous survey.”

The 18-34 demo had the biggest cume increase, up eight percent from 622,000 listening every week to 670,000. In Auckland, the same demo had an 18 percent increase and household shoppers with kids was up 12 percent.

Stewart says radio audience listenership trends over the past decade demonstrate a seven percent growth in cumulative audience levels (All People 10+, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn). And although growth was seen across the board in this round, seven networks posted increases of 10,000 or more listeners (Edge, The Sound, Mai, ZM, More, Coast and Newstalk ZB).

“[Stable ad revenue] is largely due to radio’s ability to provide advertisers with opportunities for alignment with strong station brands,” she says. “In doing so, they are able to successfully leverage the personal relationship and strong connectivity between station and audience to endorse their advertising messages, not only on-air but also via station websites [last year, station websites averaged over one million unique browsers and eight million page impressions monthly, whilst radio stations and DJs gathered over 750,000 Facebook fans].”

The usual blast of releases came our way after the Research International figures were released, with MediaWorks Radio claiming it now has more listeners than its closest competitor, The Radio Network, with over 1.46 million New Zealanders tuning in to its stations each week and growth in the key 25-54 year old demographic with a 50 percent share, compared to The Radio Network’s 38 percent.

But, as is usually the case The Radio Network was making its own claims of dominance, with Newstalk ZB again ranked as “New Zealand’s number one radio station” (all people 10+) with an audience share of 12 percent and 16 percent breakfast share. It was also number one for share in all three metro markets, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The Edge was also number one, but in terms of most cume listeners in the country, maintaining the position for the fifth year running (461,600 listeners All 10+, adding 37,100). The Rock also enjoyed its sixth year as the music station with the biggest share of All 10+).

MediaWorks’ newest radio station The Sound, which rebranded from Solid Gold, “surpassed all expectations”, debuting as the number one radio station in its target audience of 40-60 males in Auckland, outperforming Newstalk ZB in that age group. And Mai FM made the largest audience gains against All 18-34 securing an additional 20,600, followed by the Edge with 15,700.

More FM posted audience increases across all four demographics covered, recording the highest gains against All People 25-54 with an additional 28,600 listeners and taking its total listenership of this audience to 312,000. The New More FM Auckland Breakfast show, hosted by Marc Ellis, Amber Peebles and Stu Tolan, added to the strong company result by lifting its Auckland performance to beat its rival breakfast show on Classic Hits.

“I’m stoked. The Sound’s launch has exceeded expectations and More FM’s Auckland breakfast has shown breakfast radio is as competitive as ever,” says Andrew Szusterman, group programme director, music, MediaWorks Radio. “We couldn’t ask for a better result.”

David Brice, TRN’s group general manager of content, was also pleased with the “outstanding outcome”.

“Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking Breakfast yet again dominated breakfast ratings achieving number one in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, while adding another 12,300 listeners in Auckland.”

In Auckland, TRN said it had a clean sweep taking first, second and third places with the top three stations: Newstalk ZB with 12.5 percent share, an increase on the previous survey and its 20th consecutive number one; FM music station Coast with its highest ever share of nine percent, followed by ZM up one percent to seven.

Nationally, ZM retained its position as the most listened to for HHS with kids station by adding an additional 15,700 listeners and giving it a total audience of 86,500 for this demographic. It also recorded strong increases against All People 10+ with 28,400 more listeners.

The release says 610,000 Aucklanders listen to a TRN station each week “with TRN remaining New Zealand’s leading radio company with a total listening share of 45 percent” and claiming three of the top five networks—Newstalk ZB, Coast and Classic Hits, with Classic Hits achieving increases in Wellington and Christchurch.

Three new stations—Humm FM, Niu FM and Radio 531 PI—have featured in this survey, while five stations—New Supremo (Chinese), Real Good Life (Chinese), Life FM, Radio Rhema and Radio Waatea—didn’t take part.


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