First radio ratings of 2018

By AdNews | 13 March 2018
Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw host new national drive show

Today marks the first radio ratings of 2018 which include digital radio ratings, as the industry seeks to boost awareness and importantly advertising, across the audio channel.

In the first of eight radio ratings surveys for the year, results for the 21 January to 3 March period show listeners of broadcast radio and now the separate digital radio data, known as DAB+.

Industry body Commercial Radio Australia previously told AdNews the move to release both ratings on the same day was to create more awareness around the digital radio medium.

Radio network Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) says the combined FM and digital audiences of the Hit Network and Triple M, deliver an unduplicated reach of 5,120,000. This represents an additional 360,000 listeners or an increase of 7.6%.

SCA chief sales officer, Brian Gallagher says: “Listeners are embracing digital radio with the latest figures showing a 24% increase in DAB+ digital radios (3.8m devices) in Australia in the past 12 months. It’s time to start talking about our digital audiences in the same breadth as the rest of our stations.

“Measuring an aggregated analogue and digital audience means we are giving our clients the ability to access more reach than ever before with an additional 360,000 listeners. And SCA is able to monetise all of our stations, be they FM or digital.”

Check out our snapshot of Sydney and Melbourne below and for more on other markets see link at the bottom.

The state of play in Sydney

Looking at total listeners across Sydney, Macquarie Radio Network’s talkback show 2GB yet again earned the most ears, with an 11.8% share of the market. This time last year it had an 11.3% share.

In second spot for total listeners, but first spot in the market's commercial music FM offerings, Australian Radio Network's (ARN) WSFM station takes the crown with a healthy 9% share – up from 8.4 % audience share this time last year.

WSFM's arch rival, Nova's Smooth FM, took an 8.5% share, followed by ARN's Kiis106.5 at an 8.1% share. Nova 96.9 came in at sixth place overall with a 7.4% share.

The breakfast sweet-spot for Sydney

In the prime time advertiser sweet spot of breakfast, between 5.30am to 9am, 2GB again wins out, with a 15.5% share of listeners. This is a marked increase from its breakfast performance for the same last year, which was 12.9%. 702 ABC was in second spot with a 10.3% share.

Looking at the FM breakfast slots across Sydney, Kyle and Jackie O continued their dominance of breakfast, with a 10% share. This is down on the 10.5% share this time last year and also down on the final radio ratings of 2017, in which they scooped a 12.1% share of breakfast. Its sister brand WSFM was next in line with a 9% share, followed by Nova's Smooth with a 6.8% share and then Nova 96.9 with 6.5%.

This is the third year running SCA’s Sydney 2dayFM has had a new breakfast spot line up at the start of the year, following Rove & Sam in 2016, The Em Rusciano Radio Show with Harley Breen in 2017 and now for 2018, it's the 2DayFM Breakfast with Em, Grant & Ed. See: Grant Denyer joins Em Rusciano show or SCA may have been 'overly patient' with Rove & Sam.

So far so good it seems, as the show is up from the final radio ratings of 2018, from a 2.8% share to a 3.4% share. This time last year it scooped a 4% share.

"With the addition of Grant Denyer and Ed Kavalee alongside Em Rusciano and with the change in music format this is a very promising start to the year," an SCA spoksperson says.

In October the emergence of a new national drive show for the Kiis Network, featuring Melbournian “rising stars” ‘Will & Woody’, aka Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, was revealed. The move followed Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes and Kate Langbroek moving from ARN to rival radio group SCA's Hit Network - filling the gap set to be left by long-standing drive hosts Hamish & Andy.

The latest radio survey results across the 4-7pm drive time slot show Kiis106.5's Will & Woody earning a 9.1% share. 

WSFM took the lead, just, with a 9.2% share. Smooth sat at third spot with an 8.8% share and then ABC Sydney with 8.3%. 

A digital view

Looking at the digital radio scene in Sydney, ARN's Edge Digital channel, which has been going for four years, takes the share of overall listeners.

Of the 689,000 total DAB+ listeners across the city, 79,000 listen to Edge.

The second most listened to digital radio channel is ABC Jazz, with 77k fans, followed by a joint third spot tie of ABC's DAB+ only Triple J spin-off, Double J with 68k listeners – and SCA's Triple M Greatest Hits also pulled in 68k listeners.

SCA CEO Grant Blackley has recently signalled the network's intent to ramp up its digital radio channel efforts.


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Melboure movers

In the first radio ratings of the year, Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev and Byron breakfast show has shot up in the charts with an audience share of 10.3%, up a significant 3.3 percentage points.

Fox FM Fifi, Fev and Byron have been fan favourites since the show started in 2014, but last year repeatedly came in second place to Nova’s 100.3 breakfast trio, Chrissie Swan, Sam Pang and Jonathan Brown.

The Chrissie, Sam and Browny Show has now been knocked down to second place with an 8.4% audience share, following closely by Triple M’s Hot Breakfast show, with an audience share of 7.9%.

Gold 104.3 came in fourth place, holding a steady audience share of 7.4%.

Kiis FM’s new hosts, PJ and Jase, who replaced Matt Tilley and Meshel Laurie in the breakfast slot, failed to move the dial. The show dropped 1.2 percentage points to a low 5.1% share.

For the AM stations, 3AW continued to reign supreme with an impressive 19.0% share in breakfast.

In the drive slot, Fox FM’s new drive show teams, which include Carrie & Tommy, followed by Hughesy and Kate, came out on top with a 12.7% audience share – up 1.7 percentage points.
Coming in behind Fox FM was Smooth FM’s Byron Webb, who overtook Nova as it managed a 1.7 point increase to 8.8%.

Nova’s Kate Richie, Tim Blackwell and Marty Sheargold and Triple M’s Mick Molloy and Jane Kennedy tied for third at 8.7% audience share.

Gold 104.3’s Gavin Miller took home the fourth drive FM spot with an 8.1% share. It beat out Kiis FM’s new drive show, Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw, with an audience share of 7.4% - down two percentage points.

For the first time, digital radio ratings have been made available. In total people, Double J hit the highest audience at 68,000, followed by the 80s IHeartRadio with 65,000 and Coles Radio at 59,000.


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See other results here: 

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