NZME’s chief executive officer Michael Boggs on radio

1. In the latest Commercial Radio Survey Results, we saw NZME continue to grow its total audience. What can this be attributed to?

All of our teams work hard every minute, every hour, and every day to produce content that Kiwis want to listen to, read, watch and share. I believe we have many of the best talent in New Zealand on our stations, backed by amazing teams behind the scenes.

Both Radio Sport and Newstalk ZB relaunched their brands during the survey period, which also helped. Couple this with a good news and sport cycle including the royal wedding, Commonwealth Games and the start of rugby season and audiences tuned in to our talented team.

2. As well as a good result for NZME, the survey is a great result for radio in general with more New Zealanders tuning in. Why is radio such a strong platform?

Radio is powerful as it connects with listeners like no other media channel. It creates emotional connections, building relationships between announcers and audiences that can often feel quite personal. Radio hosts are the original influencers and we know our audiences love to engage in what our announcers are saying and doing as part of their everyday lives.

It’s also an active, mobile medium – wherever you are, radio can be your companion, in the car, at work or at home. This is demonstrated by our iHeartRadio app that ensures our terrestrial stations are with audiences whenever they choose to listen. With over 776,000 registered users and 2.9 million listening hours each month*, we know our audiences are tuning in, creating a powerful story for us to share with our advertisers. Once again, reflecting the powerful strength of the medium.

3. What have been the standout brands for NZME in the latest rundown? What separated these brands from the competition? 

The standouts for us were Newstalk ZB for being number one again, including the Mike Hosking Breakfast** and seeing a good increase in listeners^. The line-up on ZB is stellar, from Kate Hawkesby at 5am, through to Marcus Lush at nights, we have the right people talking with Kiwis every day.

In Auckland, Newstalk ZB increased share by 2.1 percentage points to 13.1%, its best result in 2 years, along with increasing the number of listeners by 9.6% to 216,200^ – the highest for the station in 7 years! Mike Hosking has also had his best survey result in two years**.

ZM has again shown its strength with millennials posting some great results around the country in its key 18-39 target demo***. For ZM it’s all about producing content for more than just radio. Online and social media play a major part in their audiences’ lives and the team do an amazing job of producing content like ‘The Intern’.  

Mix is one of our powerhouse brands and is quickly becoming a favourite for many people. Mix had a great survey and in Auckland, highlighting the audiences’ love of its greatest hits music, now has a larger share than The Rock, Magic, George FM, and Radio Live.

Mix is entering a significant new phase in brand development of both the product and entry into new markets – Tauranga, Rotorua, Taranaki and Greymouth, bringing its total to nine across the country. With increased listeners and market share in four out of the five existing markets⁺ we are looking forward to seeing its results moving forward.

In Urban Whangarei Mix leads on market share for people aged 25-54 with a huge 21.3%, an outstanding result. Clearly they love the best of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s up there.

Coast, Flava, Hokonui and Radio Sport all grew their listeners as well.^

4. There’s been a few changes to ZM’s line up recently, with Bree and Clint on the drive show and Jase and PJ set for a new show. When new hosts start, does it impact on the audience and what do you do to ensure audiences don’t move away?

During times like this we work hard to ensure the audience are a part of the journey into the new show. Bree has been creating content for ZM for a number of months now, working particularly with Fletch, Vaughan and Megan on breakfast and creating video content (I managed a couple of cameo appearances). Bree has a huge social media following. Clint joining ZM as an already recognised personality has been extremely positive too. They have an excellent dynamic and rapport between them already, so we are looking forward to seeing what they will get up to.

Jase and PJ’s new show was announced on Friday. They will now be heard from 3-4pm weekdays with ‘The 3pm Pick Up’, followed by Bree and Clint from 4-7pm. 

5. Earlier this year, Shayne Currie and Dean Buchanan said engagement with audiences will be radio’s greatest strength this year. How are we seeing that play out?

All NZME’s radio brands pride themselves on being more than just radio stations for your ears! The social, web, video and content production teams work tirelessly to engage with our audiences in many ways. I believe this not only comes through in our results, but also through the content we produce and the difference we can make to each audience member individually or as a force for good for all New Zealanders. We literally reach and engage with millions of people each month across our brands.

The Hits raised $50,000 for Plunket during their Pledge for Plunket campaign this year. That money came from around the country with regions battling each other to raise the most. The stories we heard and support given was incredible.

6. Off air, NZME has also had strong results with growth in the latest Nielsen National Readership Survey and has expanded its digital portfolio with Driven listings, YUDU, and now OneRoof. How do you see NZME’s radio stations positioned alongside its digital and print products?

What I like about our new ventures is they all work together alongside our existing platforms and brands. For advertisers it means they can take advantage of passive job seekers or house hunters who might be browsing through nzherald.co.nz and a job or house catches their eye. We now reach 3.3 million New Zealanders who read, watch, listen to or otherwise engage with our brands#. That’s a huge audience for advertisers to target.

Of course we can also use our own channels to advertise our new ventures, which certainly helps to drive traffic. I’ve personally been extremely impressed with the level of awareness and engagement that radio has driven to each of these new ventures.It’s great to see our great assets delivering audiences for our own new businesses.

7. Do you encourage brands to advertise across all NZME platforms—online, on radio and in print?

Our client support model has completely changed over the last year. When developing plans and campaigns for our clients, we look past the individual media channels and focus on identifying where their target audience resides and interacts with our suite of brands and platforms. We then customise a solution that fits.

We know our kiwi audience and we create and deliver great content to them wherever they are and whatever the time, through press, radio, on-line, digital, video and events.


*iHeartMedia 2018 and AdsWizz, StreamGuys 2018.

GfK Radio Audience Measurement, Commercial Radio Stations, Total New Zealand Survey 2 2018 (NB: Waikato Survey 3 2017), Commercial Share (%). Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 10+, unless otherwise stated. Any comparisons made are with GfK Survey 1 2018, unless otherwise stated. Data prior to 2016 available on request.:

**Commercial Share (%), Mon-Fri 6-8.30am, People 10+, unless otherwise stated.

***Commercial Share (%), Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 18-39, Wellington (#1), Christchurch (#1), Waikato (#2), Tauranga (#2), Dunedin (#3) and Southland (#3).

^Cumulative Audience (000s), Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 10+, unless otherwise stated

⁺Cumulative Audience (000s) (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Northland) and Commercial Share (%) (Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Northland), Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 10+, unless otherwise stated.

#Nielsen CMI Fused Q2 17 – Q1 18 April 2018 AP10+. Based on unduplicated weekly reach of NZME newspapers, radio stations, and monthly domestic unique audience of NZME’s digital channels.

This story is part of content partnership between StopPress and NZME.

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