S4 radio data show changes in Auckland listening habits

The New Zealand Commercial Radio Industry released the S4 2021 radio audience data into the market today, providing the first insight into the impact of a long term lockdown on local radio listening. 

3.39 million people or 75 percent of New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to commercial radio each week. On average listeners tune in for 15 hours 47 minutes of commercial radio each week.

1.14 million people or 76 percent of Aucklanders aged 10+ listen to commercial radio each week. On average listeners tune in for 14 hours 59 minutes of commercial radio each week.

Radio Broadcasters Association CEO Jana Rangooni says: “This is the first time since Covid-19 arrived in New Zealand that we have seen the impact of a long term lockdown on a regional markets radio listening. It shows that while audiences continue to use radio across the day there are some changes to the way they are listening. Overall there is a slight decline in weekly listener numbers driven by the Auckland and Waikato markets but general listening patterns remained consistent across the day. The most significant change was in place of listening with significantly less listening done in cars and an increase in listening at home. We would expect that to change as Auckland moves back to Amber at some point in the future.

“What the survey also clearly shows is that as the industry recognises 100 years since the first broadcast of a New Zealand radio programme from Otago University in November 1921, it is still a medium used and trusted by most New Zealanders everyday.”

TRB General Manager, Peter Richardson adds: “The survey shows that Aucklanders, despite not driving to and from work, are still strong consumers of radio. It shows Kiwis searching for reliable information during the pandemic have gravitated to trusted sources. Further, it reinforces radio’s position as a companion, as listeners during lockdown have tuned in throughout the day.”

The figures show MediaWorks has more than than 2.4 million listeners tuning in throughout New Zealand every week.

MediaWorks Director of Content Leon Wratt says: “Despite the challenges of COVID-19, I’m really proud of our teams who have been continuing to inform and entertain New Zealanders.

“As expected we have seen listener habits change in this latest lockdown survey making it the perfect time for Today FM to enter the market in 2022.

“It’s great to see our music brands continue to perform well across the country. Our local shows saw huge demand, and we also saw an increase in time spent listening to the MediaWorks network. On average across 2021, our 10+ audience share is 54.1% which is up 1.5 percentage points compared to the average share across 2020.”

When it comes to NZME, Newstalk ZB continues to be New Zealand’s number one commercial radio station with the largest share of listening and the most listeners of any commercial station in the country.

“This is a phenomenal result for the Newstalk ZB team. They work incredibly hard to stay right on point for their listeners making sure all the big issues are covered, accurately and fairly. During another period of uncertainty, it’s extremely rewarding that so many New Zealanders have turned to Newstalk ZB,” says Jason Winstanley, Chief Radio Officer at NZME.

“Our highly professional team of hosts is also vastly experienced. They know intimately what makes great talk radio. They know their audience and their audience knows, loves, and trusts them. In the world of talk radio, that sort of experience behind the mic is impossible to beat. For Newstalk ZB to now command the biggest radio audience ever is a great way to celebrate 100 years of radio in New Zealand.

“It’s also very pleasing to see that NZME has become Auckland’s number one radio network with a market share of 44.2 percent,” says Winstanley.

With its suite of radio stations including music brand powerhouse ZM, an NZME station holds the top spot in the key audience demographics of 10+, 18-34, 25-54 and 45-64-year-olds across New Zealand.

OMD’s objective outtakes

Let’s be clear, this is a survey in unprecedented times, resulting in overall news consumption up across the board as kiwis keep an eye on Covid updates, and Aucklanders (33 percent of total listenership) in particular being in lockdown for 50 percent of the combined S3 and S4 survey period.  

GFK monitors and releases radio listenership four times a year. Hot off the back of this information, radio publishers find their specific advantages and issue their own releases from their perspective.

OMD objectively analyses this data and offers insight as to what is actually going on and what this means for our clients, listeners and the audio landscape.

We have seen total listenership (AP10+) decrease -2.3 percent SoS (survey on survey), but a slight increase of 0.9 percent vs S4 2020. What does this mean for specific audiences?

AP18-39 audience:
While share remains virtually flat to previous survey, MediaWorks sees an increase (+3.2 percent) vs S4 2020. 

AP25-54 audience:
This survey saw a slight shift in share towards NZME (+1.6 percent) with MediaWorks and Independents losing 0.99 percent and 0.65 percent respectively.

HHS with Kids:
NZME continues to gain share (+2.9 percent) to the detriment of MediaWorks (-1.77 percent) and Independents (-1.15 percent). Newstalk ZB saw significant increases across all demographics, highlighting that consumers are likely turning to news and opinion content in times of uncertainty.

“It’s great to see a strong linear book and of course the continued growth in digital aggregators, however we are most excited around the evolution of traditional formats coupled with the continued innovation in digital platforms. For our clients, the benefit is when all platforms work together in synergy to deliver a broader audience at scale,” says Hamish Roderick, Chief Investment Officer at OMD New Zealand.

Spotify Unique Ad Addressable Quarterly Audience:

  • AP25-54: 424,000 (+3 percent vs. 2020)
  • AP18-39: 396,000 (+6 percent vs. 2020)
  • Source: GWI June 2021

iHeart Unique Ad Addressable Quarterly Audience:

  • AP25-54: 471,709 (+21% vs. Q3 2020)
  • AP18-39: 212,269 (+21% vs. Q3 2020)
  • Source: Adswizz AudioMetrix & Adobe Analytics

ROVA Unique Ad Addressable Quarterly Audience:

  • AP25-54: 216,284 (+55% vs. Q3 2020)
  • AP18-39: 116,662 (+15% vs. Q3 2020)
  • Source: Adobe Analytics July – September 2021. Audience estimates based on MediaWorks Web + App (excludes off platform listening). Demographic audiences are estimates only.

ACAST (Podcast) Unique Ad Addressable Quarterly Audience:

  • AP25-54: 29,981  (+6.6% vs. Q3 2020)
  • AP18-39: 30,308  (+9% vs. Q3 2020)
  • Source: ACAST data analytics

*Survey Period: S4 2021 29 August – 6 November

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