Talk radio continues to perform strongly. In the second radio survey released after a five-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, talk radio continued to dominate the nation’s two biggest markets, with 2GB leading the Sydney market and 3AW doing the same in Melbourne. Nine Radio’s other talk stations, 4BC in Brisbane and 6PR in Perth also performed strongly, with Adelaide’s FIVEaa being the major exception for talk-back, losing share in all day parts. Across the country, Nine Radio’s talk stations increases their share of all listeners by 1.5 points, securing a 13.8% share of all markets, and an increase of 0.5 points in the important 35-64 demographic.

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

2GB SLIPS AGAIN BUT HOLDS ONTO THE TOP BREAKFAST SPOT

2GB held on to the top spot in the Sydney market, dropping by 0.5 points to 13.7% of the market share overall. Their closest competitor across all day parts was Smooth FM 95.3, which saw an almost one point rise to secure a 10.8% share, followed by Kiis 106.5 with 8.7%.

2GB’s Ben Fordham also held on to the top spot for the hotly contested Sydney breakfast day part. Although losing share for the second survey in a row, with a drop of 1.2 points to 16.1%, Fordham had a lead of 5.4 points over closest competitor Kiis FM on 10.7%. Kiis FM’s breakfast team Kyle and Jackie O increased their share by 0.5% to hold on to the lead FM spot, making them the top FM breakfast show for the 15 consecutive survey.

For Drive, Nova saw a loss of 1.3% to settle on a share of just 7.6% for that day part, after replacing long-time co-host Marty Sheargold with Joel Creasey. Sydney Drive leader Smooth FM increased their lead by 0.9 points to secure an 11.3% share of the day part, followed by Kiis FM on 10.1% and 2GB with 8.4%.

3AW GROWS EVEN STRONGER IN MELBOURNE

3AW continued to dominate the Melbourne market, with an impressive 3.7 point jump to secure a total market share of 20.6%. The station saw its best ratings in decades in many day parts, including 28.4% in the breakfast slot, an increase of 2.3 points since Survey 6 and far ahead of closest commercial breakfast rivals Gold FM with 7.3%.

Melbourne’s top FM station was once again Gold 104.3, which saw a marginal 0.2 point gain to see an overall share of 8.9%. The next top-performing FM stations were Smooth FM, which dropped 1 point to 6.5%, and Nova 100 at 5.6%, after gaining 0.3 percentage points. However, Gold lost their position as number one FM station for Drive, losing 0.5 points to 7.8% and being overtaken by Triple M, which increased 0.4 points to secure a 7.9% share of that day part.

FM STATIONS DOMINATE BRISBANE

Although talk radio station 4BC saw a significant gain of 2.4 points to secure 9.5% in overall market share, Nova 106.9 held on to the top spot for the Brisbane market with a 11.9% share. The FM station has one of the few FM stations to increase their overall market share in Survey 7, with a gain of 0.4 points. Their closest FM competitors were B105 with 10.5% and Triple M Brisbane with 10.1%.

4BC also gained the number spot for mornings, increasing their share by 2.6 points to 13.8% and giving the station its first number one program in four decades. Unlike other markets, Nova’s new Drive show was the clear leader for that day part, with a marginal drop to 13.7%.

FIVEAA LOSES MARKET SHARE IN ADELAIDE

Mix 102.3 FM firmed up their number one position for the Adelaide market, with a 0.4 increase to 13.4%. Nova 919 also increased their share by the same amount to hold on to the number two FM spot with 10.8, while the top AM station and second best performing overall was FIVEaa with 11.0%, despite a drop of 1.2% overall.

Bucking the positive trend for talk radio stations in other markets, FIVEaa saw a loss in market share across all day parts. Their biggest drop was in the breakfast slot, which saw the station lose 1.6 points to 13.8% but it continued to hold the number one commercial network breakfast spot. The second-best performing commercial station for breakfast was Mix with 12.8% with a marginal increase of 0.1 points.

96FM TAKES THE LEAD IN PERTH

ARN’s 96FM gained 0.6 points to 13.2% to obtain the top spot for Perth after being number three for this hotly contested market during Survey 6. Previous leader Nova 93.7 dropped 0.4 points to 12.5%, while Mix 94.5 fell 0.7 points to 12.0%. On the AM band the top performer was talk radio station 6PR, with an increase of 0.1 points to 8.6%.

Nova 93.7 increased their lead for the breakfast slot with 14.0%, with 6PR and Mix both decreasing their market share for the day part to 11.1%, by 0.1 points and 1.3 points respectively.

We hope these insights will help you to prepare for the upcoming Christmas season, and don’t forget to check back for more updates and analysis of Australian media markets and what’s happening with commercial radio around the country!

Source: GFK Survey 7, 2020

Angie Smith

About Angie Smith

Angela started the company in 2007 after working in various media including radio, Yellow Pages as well as on the advertising agency side. She has a passion for media planning across channels, strategy, development and negotiation and really loves working with clients in growing their businesses and brands. She has worked with many brands large and small including local, national and multi-nationals. Angie’s pastimes include travel, food, entertaining.