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Three quarters of Kiwis listen to radio

News, 13 May 2016

AUCKLAND: Radio remains strong in New Zealand as the latest listenership survey results reveal the vast majority of Kiwis tune into the radio at least once a week.

Of the 3.2m people living in New Zealand's major radio markets, 77.4% tuned into a commercial radio station every week, with fierce competition in the breakfast and drive timeslots.

The Major Markets 2016 Commercial Radio Audience Measurement Survey, conducted by GfK, polled 16,634 New Zealand residents aged 10+ years, over an 18-week period.

According to StopPress, while listenership numbers are down from their peak a decade ago, the industry remains buoyant as new listenership continues to soar. Some 240,000 new listeners had joined the radio market since the previous T2 radio survey by The Radio Bureau, and were distributed across a variety of radio brands.

The stable of Mediaworks radio brands, which houses the country's top-performing stations, broke the threshold of one million total listeners across its stable for the first time ever.

Top 40 brand The Edge extended its decade-long reign at the top with 488,000 listeners tuning in every week, well ahead of other competitors. Newstalk ZB, More FM, The Breeze and ZM rounded out the top commercial stations in terms of audience size.

Mediaworks' radio network appears largely unaffected by recent controversy at the company, which saw former CEO Mark Weldon resign amid wide-spread dissatisfaction among staff and a deluge of high profile redundancies on the TV news side of the company.

As New Zealand media companies embrace digital, more talent is appearing across mediums. Comedy duo Jono and Ben have a highly popular TV show, an afternoon commercial radio slot and a formidable social media presence. Radio brands have also invested significantly in digital offerings with on-demand, podcasts and social media boosting engagement on entertainment brands in particular.

Data sourced from GfK, StopPress; additional content by Warc staff