Where are the audiences? How each platform fared in NZ On Air’s media consumption report

This week NZ On Air’s released its latest media consumption report Where Are The Audiences 2018. Completed every two years, the report compares use across a range of platforms and this year, digital is continuing to close the gap.

While the weekly audiences for traditional broadcast media continue to deliver the biggest audiences, with 82 percent of New Zealanders tuning into linear TV each week and 78 percent tuning into radio, it was SVODs that showed the biggest growth. Total (net) SVOD is up to 62 percent after 35 percent of New Zealanders were using SVODs on a weekly basis in 2016.

Of those, New Zealand SVOD (e.g. Netflix, Lightbox) was up from 26 percent in 2014 to 48 percent in 2018, while overseas (e.g. Netflix, Hulu) was up from 23 percent in 2014 to 32 percent in 2018.

With SVODs hot on TV’s tail and seeing such a massive growth, that hasn’t stopped advertisers waking up to TV’s reach in the haze of digital’s explosion on to the scene. When speaking to NZ Marketing in May, TVNZ commercial director Paul Maher said smart marketers understand TV’s power and are moving spend back to television.

“Some lost their way for a while but we’re seeing them return to the fold. Global marketing leaders Procter & Gamble and Unilever over the past 12 to 18 months have moved money back to TV, recognising the importance of scale and mass reach to build brands and the equal importance of brand safety.”

But while not yet overtaking linear TV, a correlation can be seen between the rise of SVODs and the decline of watching streamed, downloaded and torrented TV shows. Viewing of the latter is down from 11 percent of New Zealanders in 2016 to eight percent in 2018.


Listening to downloaded songs/albums for free is slightly up. According to NZ On Air’s report, it’s up from four percent of New Zealanders in 2016 to five percent in 2018.

This is despite Spotify’s audience growing 11 percent in 2014 to 32 percent in 2018, equivalent to one in three New Zealanders each week (there are no measurements from Apple Music that launched between 2014 and 2016’s surveys).

But listening to music on YouTube remains the most popular online source, sitting at 46 percent, down just one percent from 2016.

With online listening growing, it’s no surprise listening to music through iPods and CDs has dropped steadily since 2014, from 69 percent to 47 percent of New Zealanders in 2018.

Meanwhile, 21 percent of New Zealanders listen to podcasts each week, however, having not been measured in 2014 and 2016, it’s hard to assess the platform’s performance.


While other platforms are growing or shrinking, live New Zealand Radio hasn’t changed, remaining on 78 percent in 2016 and 2018 since dropping from the 83 percent listening in 2014.

What is on the rise for radio, however, is time-shifted radio, with nine percent of New Zealanders listening to iHeartRadio in a week compared to the five percent listening in 2014.

Online New Zealand radio is also up, from 12 percent of New Zealanders in 2014 to 18 percent in 2016 and 2018, and online international radio up from eight percent in 2014 and 2016 to nine percent in 2018.

It’s a finding in line with the thoughts of AUT radio curriculum leader Matt Mollgaard, who when speaking to NZ Marketing magazine in May said while once television and the internet seemed like threats, now they’re an extension of radio’s ability to give audiences unique, timely and targeted content.

“Radio’s enemy was always time. There was never enough to do everything you wanted to do on-air. Now, you can layer the radio experience by putting stuff online, time-shifting content, adding extra bits and incorporating video, pictures and text.”


Radio isn’t the only one platform incorporating video, with one of the developments between 2014 and 2018 being NZME’s WatchMe. The video-on-demand platform is home to a range of entertainment series as well as sport and NZ Herald Focus videos.

Since WatchMe’s launch, NZME has continued to branch out with new digital offers Driven, OneRoof and YUDU, which chief digital officer Laura Maxwell told StopPress earlier this year are a new way to monetise classified listings that are becoming a smaller revenue stream in print form.

“For us to create a digital proposition for something that we’ve had in another format, doesn’t seem out of line for us at all, and it’s one that we are seamlessly launching into.

This is backed up by NZ On Air’s report, with newspaper (including online) readers dropping below online video’s audience. Since 2014, newspaper (including online) readers has fallen from 78 percent of New Zealanders to 67 percent in 2018.

Readers of magazines (including online) have also taken a fall in that timeframe, down from 53 percent of New Zealanders in 2014 to 45 percent in 2018.

Most popular channels, sites and stations

Breaking down the platform use even further, TVNZ 1, YouTube and Facebook are the most popular channels (respectively).

TVNZ 1 is just holding the top spot, with 43 percent of New Zealanders tuning in, ahead of the 42 percent going to YouTube to watch online video.

They are followed by Facebook on 32 percent and Netflix in New Zealand on 27 percent.

Meanwhile, Three (25 percent) and TVNZ 2 (20 percent) are further down the list. Prime is even further down on 12 percent.

New Zealand’s second biggest radio station for weekly cumulative audience in the latest GfK Radio Survey, RNZ National has dropped from 13 percent to nine percent since 2016. However, it remains the most popular single station in the research – despite its 606,300 weekly listeners falling short of The Edge’s 621,500 according to the latest GfK radio survey.

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