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Radio New Zealand Retains Audiences

13 September 2005

Radio New Zealand Retains Audiences In Volatile Radio Market

Radio New Zealand audience survey results published today have reinforced the strong position of public service broadcasting in a changing New Zealand radio market.

Results from the latest Research International survey of New Zealanders on their radio listening habits show that National Radio and Concert FM have maintained their audiences despite big changes in the radio market since the last survey. The survey results show that one in five people aged 15 and over continue to listen to either National Radio and / or Concert FM in an average week.

The Research International survey was carried out from mid May to early July 2005 and is designed to measure Radio New Zealand network audiences and compliance with Radio New Zealand Charter obligations.

Radio New Zealand’s two non-commercial public service networks had experienced strong growth in 2003 - 2004 but there have been significant changes to the commercial radio environment since the last survey was conducted.

Earlier in the year ‘Radio Live’ was launched by CanWest, with Radio Pacific becoming a dedicated TAB racing and information station. CanWest replaced Channel Z with Kiwi (100% kiwi music) and the Localworks stations were rebranded as More FM stations. TRN’s Radio Network was busy too, extending Radio Hauraki into more regions, launching new stations Coast and Flava, and turning ‘Easy I’ into Viva FM.

Radio New Zealand Chief Executive, Peter Cavanagh said the results highlighted the very strong performance of Radio New Zealand as a public service broadcaster in the world’s most competitive radio market:

“Despite the increasing volatility in New Zealand’s commercial radio sector, both National Radio and Concert FM have been able to consolidate the audience gains they’ve made over the past two years.

“National Radio’s audience has remained rock solid despite some huge fluctuations among the commercial stations and Concert FM has largely retained the major increase in audience it achieved in last year’s survey.”

Cavanagh said he was particularly pleased with National Radio’s performance in the Auckland market which has more radio stations per head of population than any other city in the world.

“National Radio is now the No.2 station in the Auckland market – an amazing performance by a public service broadcaster in such a highly competitive commercial market.”

Cavanagh said he was also delighted at the strong showing by Radio New Zealand’s news service in the latest survey.

“92% of listeners said they were satisfied with the quality of Radio New Zealand news – the highest result since we started asking the question five years ago – and only 1% expressed any dissatisfaction.

“It’s a resounding vote of confidence in the quality of Radio New Zealand’s news coverage, particularly in the all-important lead up to the general election.”

Radio New Zealand Cumulative Audience Results 2005
Total Radio New Zealand Audience

The Research International survey results show that one in five people aged 15 and over listen to either National Radio and / or Concert FM in an average week ( Monday to Sunday midnight to midnight ). The 2005 cumulative audience figure of 592,000 listeners remains consistent when compared with the 2004 figure of 606,100.*

National Radio Audience

The actual radio audience size for the National Radio network in 2005 is statistically unchanged compared to 2004. National Radio has 517,400 listeners aged 15 years and over. This represents 18% of the total population aged 15 years and over. The audience in 2004 was 518,100 listeners and in 2003 was 494,700. *

Among radio listeners in general, National Radio retains a large market share among people aged 15 years and over, with 11% of the market (Monday to Sunday, midnight to midnight).#

Concert FM Audience

Concert FM has an audience of 159,300 listeners aged 15 years and over. While this is down on the estimated 168,000 listeners in 2004, it is not a statistically significant decrease and audience size is larger than in both the 2002 and 2003 surveys. The figure for 2003 was 134,500.*

Additional details of the Radio New Zealand audience survey will be included in the Radio New Zealand Annual Report to be published in November.


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