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As We Enter 2021, Radio Survey 8 Shows Radio Remains Vital Channel For Australians

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Angie Smith
December 9, 2020

The results of the Metro Radio Survey 8 2020 were released on 8 December, the final survey of a truly unique year. One of the key takeaways of 2020’s radio surveys is that talk radio is more popular than ever, with talkback stations dominating Sydney and Melbourne, and performing strongly in other markets.

We’ve also seen that radio remains highly relevant for Australians through the turbulent times of 2020, with listenership being strong across all markets and day parts throughout the year. Cumulative audiences in Melbourne and Perth grew from Survey 7 to Survey 8, with the exception of Sydney and Adelaide, where they held steady, and a slight dip in Brisbane.

Other key takeaways from the survey, broken down by market, are:

2GB Strengthens its Lead Position in Sydney

After losing share in both of the last two surveys, 2GB marginally increased its share to hang on to the top position in Sydney, increasing their overall market share by 0.1 points to 13.8%. SmoothFM 95.3 was again landed in second place overall but number 1 FM, despite losing almost all of their gains from the last survey, slipping 0.9 points to 9.9% share points.

KIIS FM was a close third in the market overall, with a 1.0 point gain since the last survey to secure 9.7% of the share.

After closely watching the Sydney breakfast daypart throughout 2020, Survey 8 saw 2GB’s Ben Fordham leap ahead by an entire point to end the year comfortably in the top spot with 17.1 percentage points. Meanwhile, SmoothFM led the drive slot with 10.8% of the market for that day part, ahead of KIIS FM’s 10.2% share, despite losing 0.5 points since Survey 7.


3AW comfortably led the Melbourne market once again, holding on to its lead with 19.6% overall market share despite a 1.0 point loss. 3AW’s closest commercial competitors were Gold 104.3 with 9.0% and Smooth FM with a 7.8% share.

Although 3AW’s new breakfast team Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft lost 3.4 points since Survey 7, they finished with an impressive 25% share of the market, way ahead of closest commercial competitors for the time slot Gold 104.3 with 7.5%. 3AW also dominated the drive time slot with a 16.9% share, despite slipping 0.9 percentage points.


Unlike the Sydney and Melbourne markets which saw talkback stations 2GB and 3AW clearly dominate their markets, the Brisbane market has been hotly contested throughout the year. The final survey of 2020 saw Nova 106.9 lead Brisbane after gaining 0.6 points since Survey 7 to secure 12.5% of the market overall.

This put the FM station ahead of Triple M’s 11.0% share, despite that station increasing their share by nearly one point since the last survey. Nova also increased their lead to hold on to the top positions for breakfast with a 13.0% share, and drive with 15.9%, increasing their share in the latter day part by 2.2 points.


In keeping with the rest of 2020, Mix 102.3 held on to its lead for the Adelaide market in the final survey for the year with an 11.7% share. This came despite the station announcing it will be losing its long-time breakfast co-host Jodie Oddy and dropping 1.7 percentage points overall as well as 1.9 points in the breakfast slot. This leaves Mix 102.3 in a slim lead ahead of commercial rivals Cruise 1323 with 10.9%, followed by FIVEaa and Nova 919 both with a 9.8% share.

Despite a 1.6 point loss, FIVEaa remained the top commercial station for breakfast with 12.2%, followed by Mix 102.3 in a two-way tie with Triple M Adelaide, each station with a 10.6% share for this day part.


Perth has been another hotly contested market throughout 2020, and the final radio survey saw Nova 93.7 to take back the lead from 96FM with an increase of 1.8 points to secure 14.3% market share overall. 96FM fell 1.9 points to 11.3%, falling behind Mix 94.5 which held steady at 12.0%. Nova 93.7 increased their lead for the breakfast slot, gaining 1.9 points to 15.9%, with their closest commercial rivals for this daypart being 6PR and Mix 94.5, both with a 10.8% share.

We hope you have enjoyed our wrap up of 2020’s Metro Radio 8 Survey. If you would like to learn more about how you can get your brand in front of radio listeners in an effective, tailored way, please reach out to us.

We wish you, your family and your colleagues a very Merry Christmas and hope that 2021 will bring more stability and fresh success.

Check back for the latest media news and advice in the new year!

Source: GFK Survey 8, 2020

About Angie Smith
Before founding independent agency MediaSmiths in 2007, Angela had worked on the agency, broadcast, and publishing sides of the media industry and has an incredible insight into how each world works. Since then, Angela has worked across numerous well-known brands covering the whole spectrum of media, and leverages this know-how with her experienced wider team to get the best results for clients.

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