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Radio New Zealand ACNielsen Audience Survey 2002

Radio New Zealand ACNielsen Audience Survey 2002

One in Five New Zealanders listen to Public Radio

Results from the latest ACNielsen nationwide survey of New Zealanders on their radio listening habits shows that National Radio and Concert FM together are listened to by over half a million people in an average week.

The survey was carried out in May and June, and is designed to measure the company’s compliance with Radio New Zealand Charter obligations. At the time of the survey Kim Hill had already begun her Saturday morning slot but Linda Clark had not yet started in the ‘Nine to Noon’ weekday timeslot.

Consistent Results

Results show that National Radio and Concert FM together continue to attract approximately one in five New Zealanders aged 15 years and over in an average week.

Actual radio audiences for National Radio are 503,000 listeners aged 15 and over in an average week, and 150,000 listeners for Concert FM (Monday to Sunday, 6am to midnight listening). These figures show no statistically significant change from last year’s audience figures.

Charter Compliance

Programming on the stations is meeting Radio New Zealand’s Charter obligations. Nine out of 10 listeners consider RNZ provides comprehensive news, 85% consider RNZ provides fair and balanced information, and 85% think that RNZ broadcast programmes not generally found on other radio stations, which is a key part of the organisation’s Charter requirements. The balance of listeners were usually neutral in their opinion. (Full results are contained in Radio New Zealand’s Annual Report due out in November.)

National Radio listeners continue to be satisfied with the mix of programming on the network. Eighty three percent reported being satisfied and only 3% dissatisfied. (The remainder are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.) Among Concert FM listeners, 65% are satisfied with Concert FM and 3% dissatisfied.

Listeners are very loyal, - two thirds of National Radio listeners have listened for ten years or more. Among Concert FM listeners, 39% have listened for more than ten years, and 16% are new listeners (i.e. have started listening in the last 12 months).

In terms of perceived improvements over the previous 12 months, National Radio listeners are evenly divided between those who think the station has “improved” (15%) and those who think it has “got worse” (15%). The remaining 70% think the station has “stayed the same”. Among Concert FM listeners 13% consider the station has improved over the last year and 5% think it has got worse.

Maori Programming

National Radio plays a number of programmes about Maori news and issues such as Whenua! and Mana News. Over half the National Radio listeners sampled think that Maori programming on National Radio contributes to their understanding of Maori news and issues. Only 10% disagree. The remainder (38%) do not listen to the Maori programmes.

News Programmes

News programmes on National Radio such as Morning Report, Midday Report and Checkpoint, have maintained their audiences since last year’s survey and enjoy high levels of listener satisfaction. Thirteen percent of New Zealanders aged 15 and over listen to Morning Report in an average week (377,000 listeners), and 92% of National Radio listeners who have heard Morning Report like the programme. This is the highest ‘satisfaction rating’ the programme has ever received.

Nine to Noon

The weekday ‘Nine to Noon’ programme continues to attract over a quarter of a million listeners per week (263,000 listeners). There is no statistically significant change in audience size since last year.


Saturday and Sunday mornings remain popular with listeners. Audiences for Kim Hill’s programme have increased on last year’s Saturday morning audiences from 228,000 in 2001 to 245,000 people (aged 15 years and over in an average week). Chris Laidlaw’s Sunday morning programme, ending its first year at the time of the survey, has also attracted good audiences (214,000 in an average week) and made Sunday mornings a popular listening appointment.

New Programmes

Several new programmes have come to air on National Radio since the last survey, including ‘What’s Going On?’ (a daily round-up of the Arts scene), Health Matters, Environment Matters, Your Money, Mediawatch and Ideas. Together these new programmes have attracted audiences of over 180,000 listeners in an average week, and are liked by most people who have heard them.

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