Radio results: RNZ National audience in third place, station remains king of news

Radio New Zealand’s radio results are out, and RNZ National has dropped into third place for its weekly cumulative audience behind The Edge and The Breeze.

The first non-commercial GfK survey of the year shows RNZ National has a cumulative audience (10+) of 569,400, down from the 586,700 tuning in at the time of the last survey in December 2017.

Meanwhile, the first commercial survey of the year showed The Edge has a weekly cumulative audience (10+) of 639,800 and The Breeze has a cumulative audience of 580,700 – an increase of 52,100 since the previous survey.

Meanwhile, RNZ concert has a weekly cumulative audience of 145,800, which is no change from the previous survey.

The two stations give RNZ a total audience of 636,600 New Zealanders, equivalent to 15 percent of the population.

About the results, RNZ head of radio and music David Allan says RNZ National continues to lead from the front with key programmes performing strongly in their time slots.

“These audiences provide an excellent foundation for RNZ to broaden its reach as it expands services in a rapidly evolving multimedia environment.”

Most recently, this expansion has been seen in RNZ’s collaboration with Te Papa to produce a podcast series showcasing a collection of national treasures. Called Ours: Treasures from Te Papa, the 20 episodes feature object from the Te Papa collection, chats with its museum curator, and conversations with New Zealanders who have a personal connection to the object.

Leading the news lineup

Despite its drop in audience, RNZ National remains the number one news station when comparing its cumulative audience to that of Newstalk ZB and RadioLive.

According to the commercial survey released last week, Newstalk ZB’s weekly cumulative audience (10+) 488,900 while RadioLive’s is 204,800.

Like RNZ National, Newstalk ZB and RadioLive dropped since their previous survey, down 17,900 and 7,700 respectively.

Looking at their morning shows, RNZ National is also ahead, with RNZ Morning Report drawing in 424,400 listeners. Meanwhile, RadioLive’s The AM Show reaches 131,300 listeners while Newstalk ZB has 345,000 listeners in the 6am-9am time slot. It’s worth noting that The Mike Hosking Breakfast on Newstalk ZB is from 6am-8.30am.

Each of the three stations lost listeners in the 6am-9am slot as well as in the weekends, with RNZ dropping 29,200 on Saturdays and 9,900 on Sundays to reach 322,700 and 352,200 respectively. Newstalk ZB was down 27,300 over the weekend to reach 321,900, while RadioLive dropped 3,100 to reach 110,400.

Looking across the whole non-commercial survey, RNZ National saw its greatest growth in the 7pm-12mn slot with its audience up 11,600 to reach 201,700. The time slot includes RNZ National’s new Lately with Karyn Hay show, which debuted in February. It runs from 10pm-11pm, and as it’s only three months in, Allan says it’s too soon to get a fix on the show’s performance.

While the non-commercial survey does not break down listeners by age group, looking at the commercial survey it appears music stations have gained where news stations have lost as older audiences have turned up the music.

The Sound was up 20,100 in the 45-64 age group and 12,300 in the 55-74 age group. Meanwhile, The Breeze was up 15,400 in the 55-74 age group and More FM was up 19,600 in 45-64 and 12,000 in the 55-74 group.

Off-air and online

While RNZ has seen a drop in the audiences tuning in, over the survey period more than 570,000 users accessed the RNZ website every week. This is supported by more than 160,000 video streams taking place on RNZ platforms every week.

And RNZ’s partnerships with major media organisations, including Fairfax, NZME, MSN, TVNZ and Bauer, have added new audiences and extended the reach for its content over the past twelve months.

Looking into the rest of the year, Allan says while this has been a solid result for the RNZ, it has new work in the pipeline.

“We have lots of content and refreshment planned, some is already in progress. It’s part of our continuation of always looking to make different content.”

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