Radio Ratings: Nine is talk of the town with strong results

Radio ratings

• Nine Radio’s Greg Byrnes talks record cume for Ben Fordham, and Ray Hadley’s 140th consecutive win

Radio Ratings

With the second radio rating survey done for the year, Nine Radio now finds itself well positioned in key markets heading into a federal election campaign that generally aids talk radio. The results showed that Sydney’s 2GB and Melbourne’s 3AW have both increased their position as the No. 1 stations in the market.

Mediaweek caught up with  Nine Radio‘s head of content Greg Byrnes to talk about how Nine is placed off the back of the most recent radio results

The survey revealed that almost two million Australians are now listening to Nine’s talk radio stations – 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and 6PR – representing a 9% jump year-on-year. This is the best ever Survey 2 result for the network. Byrnes said that this comes off the back of the broadcaster’s best-ever start to the year in survey 1.

“When our 10+ cume is up 9% year-on-year, and 2GB and 3AW audiences are up 5%, it is a pretty remarkable day for us.”

In the key 25-54 demographic, audiences are up 15% on Survey 1 and 23% year-on-year. And with the 35-64 demographic, audiences are up 5.9% on Survey 1 and up 10.5% year-on-year. Byrnes said that this result reflected the fact that Nine has made no secret that they are going after the next generation of talk audience. 

“We’ve got breakfast hosts in Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane that are relatively young for this genre and they’re going to attract a younger listener. We’re not trying to turn away from that core talk audience because they’re very important to us. If you look at the cume figures, 25-54’s for argument’s sake are up 15% on survey one and 23% year-on-year. That’s a wonderful demo story for us.”

Radio Ratings

2GB’s Ben Fordham

In Sydney, Ben Fordham Live was #1 with an 18.9% share with more than half a million people tuning in for the highest cumulative audience for the breakfast program on record. Ray Hadley also celebrated his 140th consecutive survey win with a 15.8% share (up 0.9).

In Melbourne, Breakfast with Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft was #1 with 19.2%. While Mornings with Neil Mitchell was also a clear #1 with 18.3% (up 0.4). Byrnes said all of these were very promising results in Nine’s strongest performing markets.

Ben’s cume in Sydney was the best ever on record with 519,000. In Melbourne, all dayparts were number one, including Dee Dee (Dunleavy) who has had a good increase in afternoons. I’m really pleased for her because I know they’ve been working very hard.

Deborah Knight and Jimmy Wilson in Sydney for afternoons and drive also had good increases today. Ray is number one for the 140th time, we get a bit blase about that when we throw it around but when you stop and think about it, it is truly remarkable. Neal Mitchell has also done really well in Melbourne.”

Jim Wilson

While 2GB and 3AW continue to perform at the top of their respective markets, Byrnes said he was also happy with Nine’s position in Birbsnae and Perth through 4BC and 6PR. 4BC posted a share of 6.9% among all people 10+, while 6PR posted a 6.9% share among all people 10+.

“Cume wise they were at about 200,000 and that’s where we’re happy for them to be. They are tough markets so they will jump up and down. We’ve relaunched both stations over the past 14 months in Perth and 18 months in Brisbane. The cume figure is good, we just need to keep at it.”

Radio Ratings

Neil Breen

The Federal Election

One key event that is on the horizon for all talk radio stations is the federal election, and Byrnes believes Nine’s radio stations are uniquely placed to play a key role for both listeners and politicians.

“We’re not just analysing and dissecting policy that’s announced, we’re also giving our audience a chance to have their say. We know that the leaders and the parties are all listening. Talkback is that original social network. John Howard always spoke about the beauty of talk radio and of a wide listening audience in Australia. When there’s an election campaign underway, the parties are listening, and our audience has an opportunity to address them directly through the open line.

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