Thursday April 16, 2020

GfK Radio Ratings 2020, Survey 2: Highlights + Full Results

By James Manning

• Full results and analysis of the second radio ratings report of the year


• Nine’s 2GB, ABC Sydney & Nova Ent’s smoothfm lead market
• Alan Jones, Wendy & Robbie, Kyle & Jackie most popular breakfast
• 2UE 954 returns to survey with music, ABC and 2GB drive leaders

UP: 2GB +1.6
DOWN: Nova -0.7

Read more: Sydney Radio Ratings 2020: GfK Survey 2


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• 3AW and Gold 104.3 on top overall and in breakfast
• 3AW’s Tom Elliott and Nova’s Kate, Tim & Marty drive leaders

UP: SEN, 3AW +0.6
DOWN: Nova 100 -1.1

Read more: Melbourne Radio Ratings 2020: GfK Survey 2


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Hit105 and 97.3 tied on top; Stav, Abby & Matt win brekky

UP: 4BC +0.9
DOWN: 104.5 Triple M -1.4

Read more: Brisbane Radio Ratings 2020: GfK Survey 2


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• Mix hangs on as Fiveaa lifts, Penbo & Will up 3.4 in brekky

UP: Fiveaa +3.2
DOWN: Hit 107 -0.8

Read more: Adelaide Radio Ratings 2020: GfK Survey 2


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• Return to status quo as Mix wins, but Nova still breakfast champ

UP: Mix 94.5 +2.5
DOWN: 96FM -1.6

Read more: Perth Radio Ratings 2020: GfK Survey 2


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Podcast Week: The Chaser returns, iHeartPodcasts up, Staycast launch

By James Manning

• The once a week episodes will feature news updates from The Chaser World News Headquarters.

The Chaser returns, this time at Nova Entertainment

The Chaser Report is a new podcast that sees the group of comedians and broadcasters moving from SCA to Nova Entertainment. The new series launches on Friday April 17.

“In an age when you don’t know who you can trust when it comes to news, we have come up with the one news podcast that definitely can’t be trusted under any circumstances,” The Chaser’s Dom Knight told Mediaweek.

The once a week episodes will feature news updates from The Chaser World News Headquarters.

The break from SCA comes after The Chaser left Triple M Sydney where the afternoon show they were doing rated well, but Triple M didn’t seem to have a timeslot for the daily comedy show. Knight said the break is significant: “SCA was the first organisation to ever pay The Chaser for performing. We had a late night show on Sunday nights. We learnt a lot from working with Triple M on the afternoon shows and we won an ACRA against some breakfast and drive shows. Nova do some great stuff and doing a podcast with them is a way to dip our toes in the water. After flirting with them in the past, this feels like a structured date.

Working alongside Knight on The Chaser Report are Charles Firth and Andrew Hansen. They will be broadcasting from their homes, with Hansen online from Melbourne where he has been based for a few years. Expect special guest appearances from their colleagues Craig Reucassel, Chris Taylor and Zoe Norton-Lodge.

Knight is still on call at Triple M and a recently hosted a Night Shift show for Luke Bona and he also bobs up occasionally on ABC Sydney where he hosted the NSW evening show for four and a half years. He also helped out on air when needed during the bushfire crisis over the summer. Hansen stands in at ABC Melbourne when required, most recently filling in on breakfast.

Knight explained: “The ABC evening show is the most fun show to host, but quite gruelling in terms of family. When I finally convinced someone to marry me, in my late 30s, I thought it would be good to actually see her from time to time!”

You can expect Knight to follow the escapades of President Trump on The Chaser Report. He wrote a book two years ago called Trumpedia. “His presidency has turned into a total tragedy. It is one thing to have a person who has a tenuous grip on reality when things like the economy are going well, but when it comes to ignoring medical advice it is terrifying. We will be making jokes though because he is an enduringly amusing subject…and much more entertaining than Joe Biden.”

Andrew Hansen is one of The Chaser team who works the corporate events circuit. While live appearances have dried up, Hansen is still working on Zoom. Knight noted that The Chaser Report and Nova Entertainment are also working on a few Zoom projects. “I feel really sorry for everybody in the live comedy world. Both Andrew and Charles were going to have Comedy Festival shows this year and it is sad I was unable to go down and boo them from the audience.”

Listen to The Chaser Report here.

iHeartPodcast listening up 38% in March

ARN this week revealed data showing an increase in audiences across its on-demand radio, music, digital and podcast platforms. The period covered is March 2020 compared to February 2020.

The broadcaster reported a 38% increase in time spent listening to podcasts on its iHeartPodcast Network Australia.

ARN collaborated with podcast hosting service Megaphone to review the listening habits of over 600,000 Australians. This demonstrated that overall podcast downloads have increased by 15% since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic and there has been a three-fold growth in listeners accessing coronavirus related content.

ARN’s commercial product and audio partnerships director Corey Layton said: “This research shows that growing numbers of Australians are using podcasts to connect with COVID-19 content that tells the stories behind the headlines, or engaging with aligned content that entertains us, like Australian comedian Nazeem Hussain’s Survivor’s Guide to Coronavirus.”

The Megaphone data also exposed shifting trends in the time of day that Australians are consuming podcasts. Up until the pandemic was declared, podcast listening trends peaked in line with morning and evening commutes. With working from home now the new norm, consumption remains relatively constant across the day with a sharp increase in listening between 11am and 1pm.

On the shift in podcast consumption times, ARN’s national strategy director Lauren Joyce said: “With many Australians no longer commuting, people are establishing a new routine. Without the distinct breakers between home, work and ‘me’ time, they are turning to the intimate listening experience of podcasts to carve out this ‘third space’. For advertisers this provides a unique opportunity to tap into audiences during the moments that they are actively seeking out content while they are highly engaged and uninterrupted.”

In addition, there were variations in the types of content that podcast listeners are accessing. The Megaphone listening data provides evidence of Australians self-managing their consumption of emotionally weighty content. The significant increase in consumption of COVID-19 content appears to correlate with a decline in listening to True Crime content, while consumption of emotionally lighter podcasts like entertainment, lifestyle and catchup radio has increased.

ARN chief commercial officer Pete Whitehead said: “ARN continues to be committed to offering the very best content across all of our audio platforms – whether it be radio, music or podcasts. We know that while our audience’s day-to-day behaviours might be shifting, they are consuming radio to remain connected, they’re on digital to stay engaged, and are listening to podcasts to escape. Their day might have changed but their appetite for audio hasn’t.”

Acast launches Staycast Campaign

Acast has launched “Staycast”, a new campaign encouraging people everywhere to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic by offering podcast-based inspiration and entertainment from a wide range of popular podcasters.

Listeners will hear messages of support (or “Staycasts”) across thousands of the network’s shows from some of Acast’s top podcasters – including Osher Günsberg, Georgia Love and How I Work’s Dr Amantha Imber – as they remind people of local government advice, as well as giving recommendations of other podcasts to listen to while they do so.

Dedicated Staycast collections on the Acast app will also provide listeners with recommendations for shows and episodes to relax, escape, or keep up to date on the latest coronavirus developments.

Trials on Acast’s Open platform – which helps people set up a podcast for free – are booming, increasing by nearly half (+49%) in March versus February. Acast will be encouraging even more people to get podcasting at home with a dedicated Staycast promotion, offering three months’ free access to any of its paid tiers.

The past three weekends have been record-breakers for the Acast network – with weekend listens up +13.5% overall. The month of March also saw a record 23 million listens of Acast content in Australia.

Acast’s content director for Australia and New Zealand Guy Scott-Wilson said: “It’s clear, though not surprising, that during this time of crisis and self-isolation people are turning to podcasting in increasing numbers. We’re seeing huge increases across a wide variety of content – from News and Finance to Health and Wellness, Education and Comedy.”

News Corp responds to High Court decision on Federal Police Raid

The High Court of Australia has ruled that the decision by Federal Police to raid News Corp’s Annika Smethurst’s home was invalid. News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller has made a statement on the ruling:

“The High Court ruling sends an indisputable message, that the Federal Police must obey the law and that their raid on Annika Smethurst’s home was illegal.

“All Australians should be extremely concerned that a journalist’s home can be raided illegally. It’s now vital that the Federal Government must allow media organisations to contest warrants against journalists to avoid debacles like this one occurring again.

“Annika Smethurst should not be prosecuted for simply doing her job as a journalist to rightly inform Australians on serious matters of public interest.

“It’s time for the Federal Government to bring this sorry mess to a prompt end. It’s time to end Annika’s ordeal.”

Comms Minister details COVID-19 relief for Australian media

The Morrison Government has announced a package of measures to help sustain Australian media businesses as they do their vital work of keeping the community informed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures include:

Tax Relief – A 12-month waiver of spectrum tax for commercial television and radio broadcasters
Investing in Regional Journalism – A $50 million Public Interest News Gathering program
Short-Term Red Tape Relief – Emergency suspension of content quotas in 2020
Regulations to Support Australian Content – Release of an Options Paper developed by Screen Australia and the Australian Communications and Media Authority, commencing a fast-tracked consultation process on how best to support Australian stories on our screens

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, said “Many Australians are doing it tough right now and the media sector is sharing that pain, especially in regional areas. Broadcasters and newspapers face significant financial pressure and COVID-19 has led to a sharp downturn in advertising revenue across the whole sector.

“We are acting to offer urgent short-term support to the media sector. At the same time we are progressing our December 2019 commitment to consult on the future framework to support Australian stories on our screens.”

The Morrison Government will provide $41 million in spectrum tax rebates, offering immediate financial relief to commercial television and radio broadcasters across Australia.

The new $50 million Public Interest News Gathering (PING) program will support public interest journalism delivered by commercial television, newspaper and radio businesses in regional Australia. PING is funded with $13.4 million in new money as well as repurposing unallocated funds from the Government’s Regional and Small Publishers Jobs and Innovation Package (RSPJIP). This responds to the ACCC’s recommendation, in its Digital Platforms Inquiry, to enhance the RSPJIP to better support high quality news, particularly in regional and remote Australia.

“The Government recognises that public interest journalism is essential in informing and strengthening local communities,” Minister Fletcher said.

COVID-19 has effectively halted production of Australian screen content, making it impossible for free-to-air and subscription television businesses to meet Australian content obligations.

“As an emergency red tape reduction measure, I have suspended Australian drama, children’s and documentary content obligations on free-to-air and subscription television for 2020. A decision will be taken before the end of this year as to whether this suspension should continue in 2021.

“It remains critically important that we have Australian voices on Australian TV, so there will be no change to the requirement for broadcasters to meet an overall 55 per cent Australian content obligation,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Government said it is accelerating its work to determine the future extent of Australian content obligations on free-to-air television broadcasters, and whether these should apply to streaming services.

“I want to thank ACMA and Screen Australia for their detailed, evidence-based study of the state of the Australian film and television sector, which carefully considers the cultural and economic importance of screen stories, the regulatory framework, and the support the Government provides to the screen sector through a range of mechanisms and policy settings,” Fletcher added.

“Regulated free-to-air broadcasters are competing with unregulated digital platforms and video streaming services. It has been evident for some time – and the COVID-19 crisis has made it even more obvious – that this is not sustainable.

“These arrangements threaten the sustainability of television broadcasters – and in turn the sustainability of the film and television content production sector.

“That is why I want to seek industry feedback on the options put forward by ACMA and Screen Australia, and work with industry on a plan for the future, including how to best secure the market opportunity created by the explosion of streaming services.

“We need to re-emerge from COVID-19 with a regulatory framework suited to the twenty-first century that recognises today’s competitive landscape – where television broadcasters compete with streaming services and a myriad of other internet-based businesses – and which positions both the television sector and the content production sector for a sustainable future,” Fletcher said.

Responding to the announcement, Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: “We thank the Minister for his efforts and the measures announced today which provide some short-term relief to Australia’s media businesses. However, the current COVID- 19 crisis only serves to further highlight the need for urgent long-term solutions to the regulatory imbalance between highly regulated domestic media players and unregulated international technology companies.”

Media relief gets mixed response from industry: Not far enough

The response from the media industry to COVID-19 relief measures outlined by the Government was mixed yesterday. Here are highlights of the various statements from CEOs and industry bodies yesterday.

Radio welcomes Government measures but says more action needed

Commercial Radio Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s relief package for Australian media, but said much more action was needed to address the severity of the impact of COVID-19 on radio broadcasters.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner welcomed the Minister’s announcement of a waiver of spectrum taxes for 12 months and the announcement of the new $50 million Public Interest News Gathering program.

“We welcome the move to waive spectrum fees but the measures announced today do not go far enough in addressing the pressures facing the radio industry.

“We are grateful for the one-year waiver of spectrum taxes which amounts to about $1.2 million for radio, spread across the large number of networks and stations.

“However, we are disappointed that commercial radio, as the most hyper local of the mediums, has been largely overlooked in spite of its continued delivery of service to the Australian community during the pandemic, and before that, during the bushfires and the drought.

“Radio is an essential service and it’s vital that we are able to continue to meet local content and emergency broadcasting obligations.

“We have now opened discussions directly with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to discuss urgent action to reduce red tape and create a fairer playing field for Australian radio broadcasters so we can keep meeting our obligations to listeners and the communities we serve.

“We would also like to see not just video content harmonised across local services and global giants but the delivery of Australian music requirements also harmonised across radio and global music streaming services such as Spotify.”

Blunt tool of quota suspensions threatens struggling screen industry

Screen Producers Australia (SPA) expressed deep concern at the Government’s announcement that Australian content quotas would be suspended for 2020, with the option to extend into 2021.

SPA CEO Matthew Deaner said:

“These hard cuts have the potential to at worst cripple Australia’s production industry and at best snuff the opportunities for a rebound for much of our sector at a time when it is facing a very real battle for survival.

“Coronavirus assistance for Australia’s broadcasters should not have to come at the expense of our production sector, which has been amongst the hardest hit by widespread shutdowns and which is in need of a comprehensive support package itself. This announcement will just load up the pain on Australia’s struggling arts and creative sector, most of whom are now out of work and falling through the cracks of assistance measures.

“We understand better than most that there will be disruptions to the supply of Australian content, particularly drama, documentary and children’s content. Our members are standing down production teams, cast and crew and halting production activity on over 100 productions, with devastating economic and employment impacts. However, rather than a hard suspension of quotas, we suggested temporary averaging flexibility, to allow broadcasters relief in the coming year, contingent on the overall obligations being acquitted across the coming years when production activity can return. This would ensure demand returns to the system at levels sufficient to get the sector back on its feet and able to pump out productions and employ large numbers of people.”

Suspension of screen content obligations unnecessary hit on sector

APRA AMCOS is deeply concerned at the move by the Australian Government to remove drama, children’s and documentary content obligations for free-to-air and subscription television for the remainder of the year.

“There are scores of screen productions ready for release and in the final stages of post-production that can be scheduled over the remainder of the year,” said Dean Ormston, CEO APRA AMCOS.

“The move to water down content obligations will incentivise television broadcasters and subscription services to reduce the programming of new productions to the detriment of the local industry, including our screen composer members,” Ormston said.

APRA AMCOS supports the position of Screen Producers Australia and the Australian Guild of Screen Composers for a temporary arrangement of deferring content obligations which would provide broadcasters relief in the coming year. This would allow broadcasters flexibility to average out obligations without reducing the quantity of content commissioned and would ensure demand returns to the sector at levels sufficient to get the sector back on its feet and able to create productions and revive employment across the sector.

As well as backing calls for a $650 million industry package to help the music industry and live performance sector bounce-back from the COVID-19 crisis, APRA AMCOS also supports screen industry calls for Government to implement a $1 billion screen content fund to boost local tax offset arrangements and provide direct support through Screen Australia.

Network 10: A great first step

ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand chief content officer and EVP, Beverley McGarvey, said:

“The measures announced by the Communications Minister are a great first step in helping us keep our focus on delivering important news and entertainment to our growing community of Network 10 viewers during these uncertain times.

“It’s important to remember that we are only at the beginning of this global crisis and the impacts to our industry, in both the revenue and production capacity, are likely to be felt well into the future. We need to look at further measures in the short-term that will help us plan ahead so we can continue to deliver free, high-quality content to our audiences.

“The Minister was right to release the local content options paper without delay because it gives us the chance to shape the long-term future of our important industry before the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis make the decisions for us.

“We hope that all stakeholders can work together on outcomes that not only build a flourishing local production sector but allow the commercial free-to-air broadcasters to thrive amongst the growing global competition for Australian audiences.”

Free TV Welcomes Immediate COVID-19 Relief Package

Free TV has welcomed the urgent relief package announced today by Minister Fletcher which will greatly assist the commercial television broadcast industry to deal with the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 crisis.

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said “While we are still working through the details of the package, the suspension of content quotas for 2020, waiver of spectrum fees and support for regional journalism are very positive for the immediate pressures being experienced by the industry. However the ongoing requirement to meet the overall 55% Australian content quota remains a concern for the industry in an environment where there is less sport, drama and entertainment programming available due to the suspension or cancellation of many productions.

“The COVID-19 crisis is having significant financial and operational impacts on our sector and these will take years to play out. It is therefore pleasing to note that the Minister has flagged that further consideration of content quotas for 2021 will occur later this year as we expect that further relief will be required in future years.”

MEAA: Regional media offered lifeline but still needs help

The announcement of almost $100 million in federal funding and support for regional newspapers and broadcasting during the coronavirus crisis is welcome but a long-term plan is needed to ensure the sector’s future, said the union for Australia’s media workers.

The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance welcomes the belated support for regional media in the form of a $50 million Public Interest News Gathering program and tax relief for commercial TV and radio. This comes after the closure of more than a dozen publications around the country due to reduced advertising revenue due to the pandemic.

In the wake of this announcement, MEAA calls for regional proprietors to press pause on newspaper closures and staff cuts– including changes announced by Australian Community Media yesterday. ACM said it would close an unspecified number of 125 regional non-daily newspapers around Australia with journalists directed to the JobSeeker queues.

Nine Entertainment: Need for urgent long-term solutions

Hugh Marks, CEO of Nine, regarding the announcement of a government relief package for media:

“We thank the Minister for his efforts and the measures announced today which provide some short term relief to Australia’s media businesses. However, the current COVID-19 crisis only serves to further highlight the need for urgent long term solutions to the regulatory imbalance between highly regulated domestic media players and unregulated international technology companies.”

Seven: Media playing a critical role during this crisis

Seven West Media managing director and CEO James Warburton said:

“We welcome today’s announcement from the Government outlining a range of short term measures to assist our industry deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19.

“The media is playing a critical role during this crisis in keeping the public informed with Australians turning to our trusted and reliable news and public affairs services for accurate information, as shown by the substantial lift in viewership for 7NEWS, Sunrise and The Latest. We’re also seeing strong readership growth for The West Australian, Sunday Times and our regional papers. We are not businesses that can hibernate during these events but our revenue is significantly impacted.

“The impacts of COVID-19 on our industry further highlights the urgent need for regulatory reform to ensure media businesses in Australia are sustainable in the long term. This includes ensuring that foreign digital platforms are paying fairly for our content as well as reform of Australian content obligations, so we welcome the Government announcing its fast-tracked consultation process to deliver content reform.”

Food Corp’s COVID-19 trend forecast – the new normal

News Corp Australia’s director of Food Corp Fiona Nilsson has released findings from the Food Corp Trend Forecast – The New Normal COVID-19 special edition, an insight for marketers into more than 8 million Australians who connect with News Corp Australia’s network of food brands.

The Food Corp Trend Forecast provides deep and real-time insights into the mindsets and trends of Australian food consumers by harnessing the data that the company’s food sites generate every day, from a search bar entry to each on-site click and social interaction.

Nilsson said: “As we adapt to spending more time at home, consumers have been turning to our trusted food brands,, delicious. and Australia’s Best Recipes in record numbers for meal inspiration.

“Being on top of consumer trends is imperative to our business, particularly when we’re seeing such big shifts in behaviour, from the ingredients and recipes consumers are searching through to the shifting priorities in health. This is why we have produced a Covid-19 special edition of our bi-annual Food Corp Trend Forecast.

“This update allows us to devise the most targeted strategies and campaign solutions to drive true results for our partners. During this time of change, the food trends identified will allow marketers to align their content marketing strategies with what’s driving consumer behaviour around food.”


Back to Basics – Consumers are reinventing the meat and three veg mantra

Australians are reacquainting themselves with their kitchens and getting back to the basics of home cooking. Consumers have stocked the pantry with dry staples and the freezer with meats and frozen veggies as the basis for future basic, simple meals. All types of mince – beef, pork and chicken – are seeing uplifts across search terms and recipe collections on the Food Corp sites. Pantry essentials such as flour, baking powder, dry and wet sugars are also being called upon during this time, as consumers are searching for classic, basic baking recipes. As budgets tighten even further, home cooks will want to reduce the risk of failure and stick to basics.

The ‘Nana’ Revival – When the going gets tough, the tough ask Nana

In times of uncertainty Australians are taking inspiration from the one person who knows what to do when supplies are scarce. Nana’s wisdom around ingredients is resonating – simple foods are best for your health, your budget and your family. Old style sweet baking recipes that Nana used to make are on the rise as people seek comfort in the known, tried and tested. Sweet and dessert content is accounting for 50% of the top performing recipes on and Australia’s Best Recipes. DIY bread and pasta are trending as people have more time to make these things from scratch or can’t go to the shops to buy them.

Making Do – Making do with what money you have and ingredients you have

With a lack of readily available supplies, consumers are being resourceful, creating their own products from DIY hand sanitiser to bread. This is a critical time for consumers to ensure overstocked pantry ingredients are getting maximum usage and for brands to show full flexibility and potential of products. The multiple ways that products can be used has never been more potent, especially if it is a food product that can be used in myriad of ways beyond dinner or the kitchen such as bath bombs and playdough for kids.

The Bright Side – Keep calm and carry on in the kitchen

Staying positive is the core ingredient in the recipe to success when it comes to staying calm during times of uncertainty. Right now, there’s nothing as powerful as cooking and baking to offer solace, comfort, stress-relief, and the sensory delights needed to take the mind off anxiety and concerns.

The Quarantini – When your spirit might be shaken, but not stirred

With social-isolation virtual parties on the rise, different adaptations of popular cocktails are being introduced such as the Quarantini, Aper-solo Spritz which serves one in isolation, the Long Iso-lation Iced Tea and the Lonely Mary. Overall, gin is still dominating delicious. drinks content as well as articles around bottle shop restrictions.

FOOD CORP HEALTH INDEX (March 2020 year-on-year)

Health as a category is not as high on the consumer priority list – in particular the specific diets and low fat terms have lost share.

Vegetarian continues to perform strongly as people look to create nourishing options not necessarily linked to a diet. Mexican vegetarian was a strong performer in the past two weeks for example.

Immunity and defence related terms have grown significantly and represent an opportunity for products that can claim to boost these.

Health Insight:

Health related search terms have declined across the board as specialised diets such as Low Carb, Keto and Sugar Free are seen as non-essential during this time.

However, the term Immunity is over performing as consumer focus shifts to protecting themselves and their family during these times. 

“Health has not gone away. The focus has just moved to survival for now. Things like making sure there will be dinner are taking precedence. It’s time to pivot health content and messaging to suit the times,” said Brodee Myers-Cooke editor-in-chief of and Australia’s Best Recipes.

FOOD CORP TOP 15 RECIPES (March 2020 year-on-year)

Simple, classic and easy are the leading recipes right now.

Sweets and desserts are all rising – with less opportunity to treat themselves or their families right now this is a necessary indulgence.

Zucchini slice, which consistently sits at number one, has been knocked back to third place by banana bread up +94% and basic scones +155%.

Recipe Themes:

‘CLASSIC’ – appearing twice in Top 15
‘BASIC’ – recipes feature twice in Top 5
‘EASY’ – recipes feature three times in Top 15

Movers & Shakers (outside of Top 15):

Very Creamy Potato Bake – up to #21 from #379
Quick Mix Chocolate Cake – up to #39 from #144
Creamy Chicken Risoni Tray Bake – up to #46 from #141
Damper – up to #55 from #211

FOOD CORP TOP 15 SEARCH TERMS (15-31 March 2020 year-on-year)

Chicken continues to hold the number one position.

Huge rises across a number of search terms with baking and sweets all performing incredibly well, mince enters the Top 15, bread jumps straight in at number nine up +273% and pumpkin soup is growing at a phenomenal +274%.

As people are cooking more meals than usual, it is expected search volumes will continue to rise and terms will develop as consumers exhaust their standard recipe repertoire.

Search Themes:

BAKING/SWEET – eight out of Top 15 searches
BREAD – enters Top 15 for the first time
BANANA – appearing three times in Top 15

Movers & Shakers (outside of Top 15):

Rump Steak – up to #76 from #112
Thickened Cream -up to #77 from #155
Sour Cream – up to #91 from #160
Tomato Sauce – up to #191 from #297
Lentils – up to #208 from #299

Food Corp holds the top three websites in the Food category in Australia. has a unique audience of 4.1 million +16.4% month-on-month; Australia’s Best Recipes has a unique audience of 1.19 million, growing +11.7% month-on-month; and has a unique audience of 1.17 million, +41.3% month-on-month*.

Through Food Corp’s digital and social channels 80 million data points^ are generated every day providing real-time information on what Australian’s are planning, shopping, cooking and sharing in food. The Trend Forecast then overlays this data with the lens of the company’s senior editorial food experts to uncover the trends, turning data into actionable insights.

Source: *Nielsen Digital Content Ratings, Monthly Tagged, March 2020, Text, People 2+, Census. ^Adobe Analytics, October 2019-March 2020

TV Ratings Wednesday March 15 Week 16 2020 (Easter survey break)

By James Manning

• MasterChef hits 1m+ for third night, 10’s big Wednesday
• Best of the rest: Hard Quiz, Home and Away, Mad as Hell

Wednesday news highlights
Seven News 1,316,000/1,251,000
Nine News 1,094,000/1,039,000
ABC News 951,000
7.30 752,000
A Current Affair 735,000/597,000
The Project 422,000/667,000
10 News 512,000/352,000
Sunrise 303,000
Nine News COVID-19 402,000
Planet America 298,000
The Drum 269,000
ABC News Breakfast 258,000
Today 234,000
The Latest 201,000
SBS World News 188,000
The Morning Show 186,000

Nine: The channel managed to slip ahead of the channels running their reality franchises this week (although Seven didn’t screen House Rules last night) and win the night. Securing that victory was an hour of A Current Affair followed by Paramedics on 522,000.

Seven: No House Rules last night with Home and Away following the news with 657,000. Seven then showed the double episode Modern Family series finale to a modest turnout of 315,000.

10: The Project was back under 700,000 after a standout Tuesday result. MasterChef is maintaining its momentum with 1.032m following the new format. The team that lost of Tuesday, 12 contestants, don’t seem to be cooking again until next Sunday. That’s a long time off the show and a long time until the first elimination. But viewers are clearly liking what they are seeing so far. This was the biggest episode three since 2012.

ABC: Hard Quiz was just over 700,000 and Mad as Hell just under.

SBS: The start of a new show from the Tony Robinson TV factory is always good news for SBS viewers. The first episode of Britain’s Cathedrals visited York Minster and had an audience of 298,000.

Week 16 TV: Wednesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 15.0% 7 13.7% 9 17.4% 10  16.9% SBS One 4.3%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.0% 7TWO 3.6% GO! 3.0% 10 Bold 4.6% VICELAND 1.5%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 2.4% GEM 2.5% 10 Peach 2.8% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 1.9% 9Life 1.8%     NITV 0.2%
        9Rush 1.1%     SBS World Movies 1.3%
TOTAL 19.8%   21.7%   25.7%   24.4%   8.4%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 13.7% 7 14.9% 9 16.5% WIN 13.6% SBS One 4.2%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 2.5% 7TWO 4.6% GO! 3.5% WIN Bold 5.6% VICELAND 1.4%
ABC ME 1.1% 7mate 3.4% GEM 3.7% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 0.6%
ABC NEWS 1.3% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.7% 9Life 2.8% Sky News  on WIN 2.8% NITV 0.1%
                SBS Movies 1.6%
TOTAL 18.7%   24.6%   26.5%   24.0%   7.9%


85.9% 14.1%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,316,000
  2. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 1,251,000
  3. Nine News Nine 1,094,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 1,039,000
  5. MasterChef Australia 10 1,032,000
  6. ABC News ABC 951,000
  7. 7.30 ABC 752,000
  8. A Current Affair Nine 735,000
  9. Hard Quiz S5 ABC 733,000
  10. The Chase Australia Seven 692,000
  11. Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell S11 ABC 675,000
  12. The Project 7pm 10 667,000
  13. Home And Away Seven 657,000
  14. Hot Seat Nine 603,000
  15. A Current Affair 7:30 Nine 597,000
  16. Paramedics Nine 522,000
  17. 10 News First 10 512,000
  18. You Can’t Ask That S5 ABC 484,000
  19. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 429,000
  20. The Project 6.30pm 10 422,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 298,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 164,000
  3. Nine News Nine 139,000
  4. Nine News 6:30 Nine 136,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 131,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 492,000
  2. The Project 7pm 10 313,000
  3. Nine News Nine 287,000
  4. Seven News Seven 279,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 275,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 511,000
  2. Seven News Seven 354,000
  3. The Project 7pm 10 347,000
  4. Nine News Nine 343,000
  5. Seven News At 6.30 Seven 341,000
WEDNESDAY Multichannel
  1. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 238,000
  2. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 221,000
  3. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 188,000
  4. Shaun The Sheep AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 188,000
  5. NCIS: Los Angeles (R) 10 Bold 176,000
  6. Go Jetters AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 157,000
  7. Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways PM 7TWO 155,000
  8. Neighbours 10 Peach 150,000
  9. Dot.AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  10. NCIS: Los Angeles Ep 2 (R) 10 Bold 143,000
  11. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  12. Bananas In Pyjamas AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 140,000
  13. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -7ETPW.2OPM 137,000
  14. Ben And Holly’s Little Kingdom ABCKIDS/COMEDY 135,000
  15. Border Security – Australia’s Front Line -7PTMWO 134,000
  16. Play School AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 125,000
  17. Hey Duggee ABCKIDS/COMEDY 124,000
  18. Floogals AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  19. Kiri And Lou ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
  20. Thomas And Friends PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 123,000
Wednesday STV
  1. Gogglebox Australia Lifestyle Channel 199,000
  2. Selling Houses Australia Lifestyle Channel 182,000
  3. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 96,000
  4. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 90,000
  5. Live: Supercars All Stars E-Series FOX SPORTS 506 74,000
  6. Credlin Sky News Live 69,000
  7. Richo & Jones Sky News Live 61,000
  8. PML Later Sky News Live 57,000
  9. Live: Supercars All Stars E-Series FOX SPORTS 506 53,000
  10. Kevin’s Grandest Design Lifestyle Channel 50,000
  11. Jeopardy! FOX Classics 42,000
  12. Blaze And The Monster Machines Nick Jr. 41,000
  13. The Kenny Report Sky News Live 40,000
  14. The Big Bang Theory FOX Funny 39,000
  15. Abby Hatcher Nick Jr. 38,000
  16. Alaskan Bush People Discovery Channel 38,000
  17. Ready Set Dance Nick Jr. 38,000
  18. Ryan’s Mystery Playdate Nick Jr. 37,000
  19. Paw Patrol Nick Jr. 36,000
  20. Hogan’s Heroes FOX Classics 34,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Entertainment Business

Michael Gudinski predicts no international artists will tour this year

Music promoter Michael Gudinski has warned overseas musicians were unlikely to tour Australia this year and the live music scene may not recover until early 2021 according to a top promoter, reports News Corp’s Cameron Adams.

The respected promoter said the industry needs to be realistic about the long term impact of the coronavirus.

“I have a firm belief you won’t see international acts touring Australia this year,” Gudinski said.

“No one can predict what’s going to happen, everyone wants everything to go back to normal but it’ll happen in stages. It’s unrealistic to think things will get back to normal on a mass gathering level before late February, March or even April to be honest. It’s not going to be a case of one day where it’s ‘OK here we go again’.”

Gudinski is supporting a night AFL Grand Final with only Australian entertainment – if the event happens.

“If it goes ahead this year, without a doubt it’ll be all Australian musicians, I’ve already got some things in mind,” Gudinski told the Herald Sun.

“I was talking about an all-Australian Grand Final before all this went down.

“We’ve had no discussions yet but I’ve been watching what’s happening with the AFL intently. I think Gil (McLachlan) and the AFL have been leaders out of all the sports in Australia.”

[Read the original]

Beyond International acquires TV distributor TCB Media Rights

Following the approval by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday 14 April 2020, Beyond International Limited, through its wholly owned subsidiary Beyond Entertainment Limited, has acquired the entire issued share capital of UK based television distribution business TCB Media Rights Ltd from FTI Consulting Canada Inc. (solely in its capacity as the court appointed receiver and manager of Kew Media Group Inc.)

After several months of speculation about its future, Canadian-based global producer and distributor Kew Media Group collapsed at the end of February.

Beyond managing director Mikael Borglund said: “This acquisition further strengthens Beyond’s business both domestically and internationally.

“TCB Media Rights’ extensive catalogue of non-scripted factual programming is extremely complementary to ours, with many of the same customers worldwide and ongoing relationships with producers in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

“Beyond Distribution and TCB Media Rights will continue to operate as full-service distribution companies for the foreseeable future, and I am looking forward to welcoming the TCB Media Rights team to the Beyond Group,” he continued.

Not long after Kew Media Group launched it acquired a number of international production businesses to get scale quickly. One of those businesses was Australia’s Essential Media Group which cost Kew Media $32.8m. The purchase of Essential was seen by some as one acquisition too many for Kew Media. Essential Media’s Greg Quail and Jesse Fawcett recently regained control of the business.

News Brands

News Corp wants Smethurst investigation to end after High Court win

News Corp is calling for an investigation into journalist Annika Smethurst to end after the High Court delivered a partial victory for the political editor in her challenge against the police raid on her home last year, reports Fergus Hunter in The Age and The SMH.

The court unanimously found the warrant executed at Smethurst’s home by the Federal Police was unlawful on technical grounds, because it “misstated” relevant criminal laws and was not specific enough about the alleged offences.

“The entry, search and seizure which occurred on 4 June 2019 were therefore unlawful,” the court decided, according to the judgment summary.

News Corp said the ruling sent an “indisputable message” that the police raid was illegal. The Labor Party welcomed the verdict and said the government must rule out prosecution of Smethurst and commit to a suite of reforms to protect press freedom.

[Read more]

Press freedom: Annika Smethurst warrant-raid win is a hollow victory

The High Court’s decision striking down the legal basis for last year’s police raid on the home of journalist Annika Smethurst is a hollow victory. It delivers no lasting benefits for press freedom and rewards unlawful conduct by the Australian Federal Police, reports The Australian’s Chris Merritt.

The point has now been made that the AFP were wrong to enter Smethurst’s home armed with a flawed search warrant. But the High Court has made another point: it has allowed the AFP to retain the information it seized during that unlawful raid.

This should concern everyone, not merely the media. The AFP has been allowed to barge into a private home without a lawful reason, seize private property and treat that property as its own.

[Read more]

Andrew Bolt interview with Cardinal Pell sets a Sky News record

The Sky News Australia world exclusive television interview with Cardinal George Pell on The Bolt Report with Andrew Bolt saw the program achieve its highest ever ratings with an average overnight audience of 161,000. The Bolt Report was also the #1 program on Foxtel yesterday (14 April) and Sky News was the #1 channel across Foxtel overall.

To date, the George Pell interview has had an additional 106,500 streams across Sky News Australia’s online platforms.

Earlier this week Mediaweek reported Sky News has been the #1 channel on Foxtel for more than five weeks (1 March – 7 April), with total audience increasing +63% year-on-year, reaching 2.4 million viewers.

As part of that growth, The Bolt Report (weeknights at 7pm) hosted by Andrew Bolt is up +38% year-on-year, with a reach of 710,000 viewers.

[Read more]


Australian Seniors to release first Dare magazine from Medium Rare

Australian Seniors has announced the launch of Dare, a magazine targeting over 50s, will be released later this month. The 100-page high gloss magazine will be mailed directly free of charge to more than 150,000 Australian Seniors customers bi-monthly. Customers will receive the May/June issue on 24th April.

The bi-monthly magazine will focus on helping people embrace the challenges, pleasures and opportunities that come with living a daring life. Dare will influence all demographics in this sector by speaking to them in their own language, with content driven by an understanding of their needs.

“Over the past six months we have been working closely with our partner Medium Rare Content Agency, to launch Dare. The magazine is just another way we will tell the incredible stories of Australia’s over 50s, who our research shows are healthier, busier and better informed than any previous generation,” said Brenard Grobler, chief executive officer, Greenstone Financial Services.

Medium Rare content agency was appointed in December 2019 by Australian Seniors to publish the magazine for Australia’s over 50s. The content agency will provide editorial and media sales services across Dare magazine, the website and social media accounts.

Dare is edited by Michelle Endacott, following on from a decade at The Australian Women’s Weekly.

“Our 50-plus audience is more adventurous than ever before. In our first issue, we feature stories on internet dating scams and social media privacy, as Australian Seniors research shows the readers are very tech-savvy – 84% are adopting new technology,” Endacott said.

Starting from April 30, Australian Seniors and Medium Rare will also make subscriptions available to those currently not customers of Australian Seniors. Alternatively, copies can be purchased for $9.95 at Australian Seniors retailers, once they reopen.


Informer 3838 runs legal gauntlet bringing Nicola Gobbo story to life

Such are the sensitivities surrounding Informer 3838, the miniseries about criminal barrister turned police informer Nicola Gobbo, that the writers of the show have asked their names not appear on it, reports The Age’s Karl Quinn.

Ordinarily that only happens on movies that have been savaged beyond recognition by a producer or a studio (if you ever see the name “Alan Smithee” on the credits, that’s why). But in this instance it was because of fears that one or more of the people portrayed in the show might not be too happy with what they’re seeing. And when the offended parties are police and/or gangsters, it doesn’t pay to be cavalier.

“It’s because of safety fears,” says actor Rhys Muldoon, who plays drug dealer Terrence Hodson in the series.

“One of the writers doesn’t care, but one of them really does,” says Rory Callaghan, CEO of Screentime, which has produced the show for Nine.

Of course, that writer is not the only one feeling the heat. Nine is anxious to avoid a repeat of the scenario that bedevilled its original Underbelly series back in 2008, when the show was prevented from going to air in Victoria because it was deemed a risk to ongoing legal proceedings. When it did finally air the following year, it was with some names changed and faces pixelated, lest any potential jurors be unduly influenced by what was on screen.

This time, despite the fact there’s an ongoing inquiry into the events it depicts, Callaghan feels they’re on safer ground.

“The Royal Commission’s findings are yet to come out so we don’t know what’s going to happen,” he says. “We’ve been pretty careful to ensure that everything we cover is pretty much in the public domain.”

[Read more]

Not a fan of rugby? Adam Hills will change your mind with this doco

Adam Hills has built his reputation as a comedian and TV host on being a nice guy, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Louise Rugendyke.

He’s affable, he’s friendly, he lifts people up, having decided early on in his career there was no need to talk down to his audience. He takes a similar approach on his British chat show The Last Leg and, while he sometimes veers dangerously close to smug, his good intentions win through as he champions for the underdog – well, basically everyone who doesn’t vote Tory.

He’s in a unique position to do this – Hills was born without a right foot and wears a prosthesis – and though he has joked that he doesn’t consider himself disabled because there is nothing he can’t do, what he has done is use his profile to give others with a disability a chance to show there is nothing they can’t do either.

It’s that spirit that runs through this documentary about Hills’ ambition to get the Warrington Wolves physical disability rugby league (PDRL) team to Australia to play the South Sydney Rabbitohs in the World Club Challenge. It could have been a vanity project showing Hills indulging his blinding passion for rugby league but, instead, he’s shifted the camera enough to allow those that play in the Wolves the chance to tell their story and show their hearts and personalities.

[Read more]

George Calombaris praises MasterChef’s new judges, contestants

George Calombaris has heaped praise on the new MasterChef Australia era, drawing comments from fans who are saddened he is no longer part of the line-up, report News Corp’s Holly Byrnes and Zoe Smith.

The embattled celebrity chef left the 10 reality cooking show last July along with fellow judges Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston over a pay dispute.

Since then, the Melbourne celebrity chef has faced financial difficulties with the collapse of his restaurant empire.

Calombaris took to Instagram after the opening episode of the new MasterChef series, congratulating the “awesome crew, contestants and judges”.

Fans were quick to comment on his post, with many lamenting the departure of the original three judges.

[Read more]

Lego Masters return: Hamish Blake ready for a plastic distraction

“Any distraction, in any form, for people at the moment is a good thing,” Hamish Blake suggests to TV Tonight..

“We are wall-to-wall in monitoring this situation. Everyone’s got their noses in their phones and online all day to try and figure out what’s happening around the world.

“So to be on someone’s distraction list is a good thing.”

Season Two of Lego Masters plans to be just that… a colourful, playful, slightly-silly and family-friendly entertainment offering.

Nine unveils the first of its 11 episodes – 2 more than its debut season – this Sunday. Eight new teams, aged from 18-49 will battle it out for the 2020 title and a $100,000 prize.

In between production wrapping in January and the nation’s recent lockdown, Blake was busy stockpiling podcasts with Andy Lee.

“We’ve never had a moment like this, certainly in my generation, where globally the focus is on one thing. Hopefully the good that will that come out of it is something that carries with it that message: about what makes it great to be a human being, what makes it great to be a society. Art in any of its forms is probably top of that list.

“A lot of my mates are in TV production, so just seeing the way people are adapting and pivoting is, I think, a little bit inspiring. We’ve always done it one way, and even if this is a great lesson in anything, it’s people finding there’s many ways to do what they did before.”

[Read more]

Sports Media

D-Day for the NRL’s broadcast battle with rights holders

Rugby league’s seemingly bitter broadcasting battle is set to reach a climax before the weekend as the respective heads of the Nine Network and Foxtel prepare to eyeball each other and thrash out plans for the remainder of this season, reports The Australian’s Brent Read.

Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany and Nine boss Hugh Marks are expected to join ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys at a meeting as early as Thursday, those discussions likely to determine the schedule for 2020 and the amount of money the NRL has to dispense to clubs and players. V’landys will arrive at the meeting safe in the knowledge the game has up to $250 million in their back pocket, albeit in the form of a line of credit from British banks.

The preferred draw as it stands would result in each team playing each other once before a series of marquee matches are incorporated into another five weeks.

That would give the broadcasters more premium content and alleviate the concerns of clubs who lost games before the season went into hibernation.

[Read more]

Seven reaches out to NRL about potential broadcast partnership

Channel Seven, the home of AFL, has reached out to the NRL about the potential of acquiring rugby league content in the future as Channel Nine looks to offload one of its three free-to-air matches, reports The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael Chammas.

The news comes as Nine boss Hugh Marks prepares to meet with Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and ARLC chairman Peter V’landys on Thursday to renegotiate the broadcast deal for 2020 and determine when and how the season will resume.

The Herald has also been told by sources with knowledge of discussions that Fox Sports will not surrender its simulcast arrangement with Nine, the publisher of this masthead, nor does it intend to scrap the Friday 6pm game, as Nine is hoping.

Nine’s preference, largely in a bid to bank the $130 million saving it announced to the stock exchange last week, would be for the NRL to wait until crowds are allowed back before the season resumes – even if it means no rugby league until 2021.

It’s anticipated Nine’s tactic will be to stall. Prolong discussions for as long as possible to ensure there is less content to pay for.

[Read more]

Paul Kent: Rugby League is a solution, not a problem

It seems only reasonable in this era of misinformation that Tuesday’s meeting between ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and Channel 9 boss Hugh Marks ended with none of the small explosions many expected, reports News Corp’s Paul Kent.

Speculation that Nine would leverage the shutdown to wrestle back exclusive rights for Friday night and Sunday afternoon football appear wide.

Marks is believed to be at ease with the current broadcast arrangement.

Speculation that Nine would try to pinch a Saturday game from Fox Sports also fell short.

Nine has no call on Fox Sport’s contract rights.

What proved correct was Nine’s insistence it be part of the conversation about what the resumed season looks like and the statement out of League Central suggested that will happen soon and they will also invite Foxtel boss Patrick Delaney.

[Read more]

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