The Breeze, Jono, Ben and Sharyn driving Kiwis home - NZ commercial radio survey results

The results of the second commercial radio survey for 2019 highlight the music stations Kiwis are listening to the most during their commutes, with MediaWorks shows nabbing the top five spots for afternoon drive music. 

According to Thursday's GfK Total New Zealand Commercial Radio Survey, The Breeze's Robert Scott remains the king of tunes in the afternoon. Scott is followed by The Edge's Jono, Ben and Sharyn - who recently took out Best Non-Breakfast Team at the NZ radio awards.

The drive shows on More FM, The Rock and The Sound make up the remainder of the top five music shows driving New Zealanders home between 3pm and 7pm each day.

MediaWorks Radio's group content director for music, Leon Wratt, says content is key when engaging a drive show audience. 

"At the end of the day it comes back to what we're putting on air - the stations are providing what people want to hear."

Wratt cites concepts such as Jono, Ben and Sharyn's Guiness World Record attempt for the most radio interviews in 24 hours, which starts on Thursday, as the "sort of thing that helps galvanise listeners to stations".

When it comes to battling morning traffic, More FM's The Breakfast Club is the music radio station New Zealanders most tune into, followed by The Breeze and The Rock respectively.

Commercial radio remains an integral and exponentially growing entertainment platform for New Zealanders, with overall listenership increasing by 35,500.

The upsurge of listeners has seen MediaWorks grow its audience by 12,600 from April 2019, meaning 2.39 million people are tuning in each week across the company's stations. MediaWorks also owns Newshub and Three.

NZME stations also reaped the benefits of the increase in radio listenership, with Mike Hosking's slot on NZME station Newstalk ZB continuing to perform.

"NZME will be singing about that result, as well as ZM's growth. We expected to see those figures in Auckland specifically," said Wratt. 

Meanwhile, dance music station George FM, who celebrate their 21st year next month, have doubled their audience share in Auckland and gained 21,100 listeners across the country.

Wratt says much of George's success can be attributed to the time audiences spend listening - a crucial part of radio survey results.

"Time spent listening is where George FM did really well, as well as Newstalk ZB and ZM, and where Mai FM lost a little bit of ground," Wratt says.

Wratt, who next week will celebrate 25 years at MediaWorks, says he's been around long enough to take any increase or decrease with a grain of salt. 

"It's no different from TV ratings which tend to bounce a bit from day to day. We'll expect to see those numbers change out across the next few results."

The Magic brand, which encompasses Magic Talk - formerly RadioLIVE - and Magic Music, has maintained its debut position from April's survey as the country's third biggest station overall.

The addition of Peter Williams to the Magic brand line-up this year has seen positive results, particularly in Tauranga, where Williams broadcasts his Magic Mornings show from.

"To see Magic go to number one in that region is really exciting," Wratt says.

"Particularly because Peter has only been doing talk radio for five months, he's doing very well."

The GfK results also highlight the importance of a multi-platform approach from commercial radio brands.  MediaWorks' digital audio streaming platform Rova has seen a continued uptake from listeners, increasing its unique monthly users to 133,000.

"It's important for audiences to be able to get their entertainment anywhere, which is what Rova is all about," Wratt says.

"We are seeing more time spent with brands through these devices now," he explains, with around seven per cent of Kiwis ditching their car radios for other means of listening.

Wratt calls the overall results "an exceptional achievement" for MediaWorks, demonstrating the "depth and breadth" of the brand's personalities.

"To grow our listenership even further is the icing on the cake."

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