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New research shows traditional media still prevail

9 July 2014

Where are the audiences? New research shows traditional media still prevail

New research commissioned by NZ On Air confirms the majority of New Zealanders are still consuming traditional broadcast media - linear television and live radio - every day. However music audiences and the young are leading the charge to digital platforms.

In the first independent, publicly available New Zealand research across media types, Colmar Brunton surveyed 1,400 New Zealanders aged 15-plus in April this year about what media they consumed “yesterday.”

“Today most of us carry a screen in our pockets and have multiple devices in our homes for consuming media. As the main funder of local content we wanted to know if the chatter about viewers turning off mainstream media and tuning in to online media was true,” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.

The survey found 83% of respondents watched live television daily, while 67% listened to live radio and both for a considerable amount of time each day – more than any other media.

12% of viewers used one of the broadcasters’ On Demand websites to watch a broadcast programme when it suited them, while 6% use overseas online TV sites such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Hulu.

Predictably, it’s among the younger generation that the online move is most obvious. While 76% of 15 – 24 year olds watched linear television daily, 66% also watched videos online (Youtube or Vimeo) the previous day.

While radio is still popular, music is moving online faster than other content, and young people are leading the charge.

When asked where they became aware of new music, 60% of all respondents said on the radio, 36% said via streaming services such as Spotify, Youtube and Soundcloud.

Among 15-24 year olds the latter figure jumps to 67%. Newer market entrants Spotify and iHeartRadio have already achieved a weekly reach of 12% and 5% respectively.

“NZ On Air has always said that we will go where the audiences are. By and large, the audiences are still in front of the television or listening to radio, but they are consuming all sorts of other media as well,” says Ms Wrightson.

“With music it is clear that if not a ‘revolution’, then certainly a fast-moving ‘evolution’ is taking place. For this reason we are increasingly shifting our music promotions focus to online platforms, to ensure that people looking for NZ music online can easily find what they enjoy.”

Other online content such as webseries still have a small audience. This is an area NZ On Air will continue to take a close interest in, given the opportunities for innovation and experimentation.

NZ On Air intends to repeat the research at intervals to show trends over time.

The full research report “Where are the audiences?” is available at


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