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Talk Radio Reigns in a Return to Normalcy – Metro Radio Survey 2, 2021 Update

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Angie Smith
April 15, 2021

Nine Radio Stations continue to lead Sydney and Melbourne Markets

Nine stations 2GB and 3AW held on to the top spots in Sydney and Melbourne respectively, despite 2GB slipping a little since the last Metro Radio survey. 2GB lost 1 percentage point since Survey 1 to hold 13.4% of the market overall. 2GB also held on to the top spot for breakfast with 15.5%, even though it lost 2.6% in this day part.

In Melbourne, 3AW maintained its dominance of the market, with a gain of 0.6% to secure 16.9% across all day parts. The high performance of 2GB and 3AW as well as other talkback stations such as 6PR in Perth shows that audiences continue to be drawn to talk radio.

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


ARN stations KIIS 106.5 and WSFM both performed well in Survey 2 2021, with the stations gaining 1.0 and 1.7 percentage points respectively in overall audience share, most notably in the breakfast day part. KIIS breakfast team Kyle and Jackie O gained 1.1 points to secure a 10.9% share, by far the largest share for any FM station for the time slot, though behind 2GB which held 15.5% of the market despite dropping 2.6 percentage points.

KIIS was also the commercial station with the highest share for drive, gaining 1.5% to hold 10.0% of the market, with SmoothFM and Nova 96.9 following close behind with 9.8% and 9.7% for this day part.


With talk radio station 3AW’s dominance of the market overall, Gold FM was the highest-performing FM station with 11.3% of the market after gaining 0.3 percentage points. Nova also enjoyed a 0.8% gain to secure 7.1% of the market, making it the third most popular FM station after SmoothFM with 8.4%.

3AW holds on to its impressive lead in the breakfast slot, slipping only slightly to 21.5% with Russell Howcroft, who replaced the previous host John Burns last year. 3AW remains well ahead of its closest competitor for breakfast, Gold FM, with 8.6% of the market.


Brisbane radio continues to be a tight race, with Nova losing its narrow lead, dropping 0.8 percentage points to hold 10.6% of the market. The top spot went to SCA’s B105 with 11.1% with a 0.9-point gain, narrowly ahead of 4KQ which gained 2 whole points to secure 11.0% of the market.

Nova’s slip overall was reflected in their drive performance, with Nova dropping for the second survey in a row in this day part, with 13.3% market share, down 1.5 percentage points. However, they still lead the Brisbane breakfast time slot, ahead of closest rivals B105 who gained 0.8 percentage points to secure 11%.


Mix 102.3 maintained its dominance of the Adelaide market, gaining 0.5 percentage points to secure 13.5% of the market overall. Nova and Triple M also gained ground to 10.9% and 9.3% respectively. Mix 102.3 led the breakfast slot in the FM band, gaining 1.1 percentage points to 12.0% of the market, ahead of Nova 919 with 9.8% behind 5AA with 13.5%, despite the talk radio station losing 1.3 points in the day part.


Nova 93.7 lost 0.3 percentage points across all day parts but still led the Perth market with 13.3% of overall share, ahead of Mix 94.5 with 12.6% and 96FM with 10.7%. ARN’s 96FM gained 1.1 points to secure 11.9% of the breakfast share despite host Fred Botica suddenly being replaced by Dean ‘Clairsy’ Clairs midway through the survey period. However, they are still behind Nova 93.7 with 14.9% and Mix 94.5 with 12.2% of the market.

Overall, this survey represents something of a return to normality, with figures returning to pre-COVID levels after a tumultuous year. We can only hope that this return to normalcy will continue and radio will be more predictable for the rest of 2021. 

Keep checking back for the latest news, tips, and advice on marketing and media. 

Source: GFK Survey 2, 2021

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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