Radio audiences adjust the dial again

Mai FM is becoming something of a radio phenomenon in Auckland, and its parent MediaWorks radio has edged further ahead of rival NZME in the total market share in the final radio ratings survey of the year.

NZME's Newstalk ZB retains the highest rating share nationwide and in Auckland in the latest GfK survey, and its breakfast host Mike Hosking holds on to gains made since a big dip early this year.

MediaWorks' The Edge network has the biggest total audience under a measure known as weekly cumulative reach for those aged 10 plus with 613,000 listeners, followed by two stablemates, the Breeze with 528,000, More FM 525,000, and then NZME stations ZM with 508,000 and Newstalk ZB on 506,000.  ZB dropped from 3rd to 5th on this measure as music stations rose.

In a relatively stable survey, Mai FM's strong showing as number two station in the Auckland categories is a stand out, pushing up from an 8.7 to 9.2 share in the city and from 10.9 to a heady 11.2 in the breakfast slot. Hosking's morning show held at 16.3 in Auckland, just off the 16.4 in the September survey. In mid 2016, Hosking commanded a 17.9 share and fell as low as 13 early this year.

The survey period covered the final, dramatic, two weeks of the general election campaign but also the lull most news services faced immediately after that peak of public interest.

Radio Live, the MediaWorks talk station, had a survey with little to celebrate. Nationally, its already low share fell from 3.8 to 3.4, and in Auckland it ranked 16th of commercial stations with a 2.2 share, down from 2.6. Its rival to Hosking's breakfast, the AM Show, fell nationally from 5.1 to 4.3 and in Auckland from 3.8 to 2.6.

Overall, the MediaWorks stable grew its share of the commercial market from 51.0 to 51.9, and the NZME stations together fell away from 40.5 to 39.0. The gap had been narrowing between the two groups over the past two surveys but now stands again at almost 13 share points.

This fourth survey of 2017 shows NZME has succeeded in staunching its ratings blood from 2016, when both Newstalk ZB and Hosking began falling into a deep Auckland hole with the champion talk channel dropping briefly into single share figures in the country's biggest market. But the recovery by MediaWorks in the overall market share this time will have been dispiriting to the efforts at its rival to sustain momentum.

In Auckland, Newstalk ZB's first place at a 12.7 share led Mai on 9.2, Coast on 7.9 (a drop from 9.3 in September), the Breeze on 7.5 (up from 7.0) and The Edge on 5.3 (off from 6.2).

In Wellington, Newstalk ZB was first with 14.8, up from 14.0, the Breeze on 12.6 (down from 13.4), ZM on 8.3 (down from 10.5), The Edge 6.7 (up from 6.1), and The Rock 6.4 (down from 6.5).

In Christchurch, More FM is number one with a 15.8 share (up from 13.9), The Breeze on 13.4 (up from 12.2), The Rock on 10.6 (up from 9.2) and Newstalk ZB on 8.9 (down from 9.8).

Radio New Zealand is covered by a separate GfK survey out next week.

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