First 2018 radio survey shows NZ's overall listenership has increased again

First 2018 radio survey shows NZ's overall listenership has increased again.
Photo credit: MediaWorks

The latest survey results show New Zealand's overall commercial radio listenership has increased and MediaWorks Radio has grown its total listener base yet again.

According to Thursday's GfK Total New Zealand Commercial Radio Survey results, total commercial radio listenership has grown to 3,390,200, an increase of approximately 67,400 since December's results.

MediaWorks reached 2,417,600 people nationwide across its radio brands, an increase of more than 100,000 in the same period.

Competitor NZME is also pleased with the results, highlighting Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB as being the nation's highest-rating breakfast show.

Leon Wratt, MediaWorks Radio's group content director for music, says the increases in total radio listenership can be partially accredited to more accurate measuring.

"There's been a lot of money and effort put into covering the whole of New Zealand, which is helping to uncover a lot of listening that was never represented in the past," he says.

Mr Wratt says radio continues to have advantages over other formats, including music streaming services.

"It's free, easy to pick up and use without chewing into your data plan, many people are probably spending more time in traffic - all these things also help the medium stay so strong," he says.

"Hopefully we're doing a good job in providing music, entertainment and talk that people really want to listen to. With radio personalities you love, it's like binge-watching a series you really like, you just want to listen to them every day."

MediaWorks radio stations remain the strongest in the 25-54 age group with 58 percent share in the commercially important demographic, nearly double its nearest competitor.

More FM is New Zealand's most listened-to music station, increasing its cumulative listenership to 543,400 during this survey period.

"More has just been a juggernaut," says Mr Wratt.

"[Breakfast hosts] Si and Gary had a great result in Auckland - the highest ever since 2002, so a phenomenal result. Putting Polly and Grant into Dunedin and Rotorua really paid off as well."

The Sound has become the number three music station nationally for people aged 10 and over, while Magic is now the number one station for share in Rotorua, Hawkes Bay and Nelson, with the highest time spent listening of any New Zealand radio station.

"The Sound is really smashing it in its target of males aged 45-64," says Mr Wratt.

"And Magic had the highest increase of share in any station. We keep getting amazingly positive feedback about that station, which is our newest, but it's capturing a huge audience and we're really happy about that.

"Our opposition has made a few changes to a few of their stations and I think Magic is one of the stations that's cashing in on those changes."

MediaWorks, which owns Newshub, also says its radio streaming app Rova tripled its downloads to 300,000 since May 2017 and served 14.9 million streams.

The full GfK Total New Zealand Commercial Radio Survey can be read on its official website.

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