April 24, 2019

Gold Coast and Wagga Wagga Radio Ratings


Two Radio Ratings results from Regional Australia for you. Gold Coast ratings were released today and we also have an update on Wagga Wagga which came out on April 2nd.


Hot Tomato has topped the ratings on the Gold Coast while in Wagga Wagga Riverina’s HIT 93.1 is the most listened to station. More on the ratings results in a moment.


But first some background on Gold Coast  to help you understand this market and why it truly is a ‘GOLD’ mine for advertisers. I’ve travelled to the Gold Coast about 5 times a year for the last 10 years. I love it. The beach. How good is the beach?


However, if you ever go to the Gold Coast, whatever you do, don’t mention the Commonwealth  Games.


It’s incredible that every year in the first couple of weeks of January, there are NO VACANCY signs up all over the Gold Coast. With 10 Million visitors a year, Gold Coast in January takes in a big bunch of them, and unless you book in advance, there is literally ‘no room at the Inn’.


And while many families are either enjoying the long sandy surf beach which runs from one end of the coast to the other or riding the slides at Wet ‘n’ Wild, there’s something else happening in January that in many ways influences the future of our country.


The Magic Millions.


You might think I’m being a little overdramatic, but the Magic Millions in January is more than a horse race. In fact, the racing is the side-show for the mostly B-List of celebrities putting in the hard yards to get more likes on Instagram.


The real show is the Magic Millions Yearling Sale where Australia’s richest and most powerful outbid each other in their quest to find a champion thoroughbred.


And it’s not so much the sales themselves that carry so much weight. Racing is ‘The Sport of Kings’ and for the ‘Kings of Australia’ this is their ultimate getaway.


In between buying horses, they’re wining and dining deciding the future of Australia.

It’s kind of like the annual convention for the rich and powerful. Business during the day, crack open the bottles of Grange at night. However, you won’t always find them at the glitzy and newly renovated casino. Might I add, The Star is amazing.


You’re more likely to find them keeping a low profile sharing their secrets around the ‘Lazy Susan’ at their favourite Chinese joint.


The money at the Magic Millions, is very magical. Over the 6 days of the 2019 sale,

934 horses were sold, with over 180 Million dollars in sales. Yes, you read that correctly. $180 Million was spent buying horses. Some of that money comes from overseas buyers, but much of it is homegrown.


Up the other end of town, in Southport, the local prosecutor is dealing with another

Ice addict. The ‘Underbelly’ of the Gold Coast is alive and well. Drugs, violence, robbery.

Gold Coast is now Australia’s 6th largest city and for all its beauty and excitement it has its fair share of issues.


The QLD Government has spent billions transforming the Gold Coast economy.


The Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct is leading the way with Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast Private Hospital, and Griffith University creating a hub at Southport for medical services, technology development, research and education. It’s state of the art . It is the catalyst for the Gold Coast growth rate in 2018 of 3.7%, well above the national rate of 2.9%. It’s been a saviour for the local economy. (Remember, don’t ever mention the Commonwealth Games!)


With a population of over 638,000 Gold Coast has a low un-employment rate. There is a job for everyone. Hospitality, Tourism and Retail the engine room of the economy with education, innovation, and health services now providing a new solid layer of stimulus.


Local entrepreneurs and Gold Coast Council have built the fastest fibre optic cable internet in Australia. Built for the Comm Games (shit I said don’t mention that) it runs along the tracks of the light rail and is said to be 10 times faster than the NBN.


Real Estate investment has long been a major contributor to local growth. But there are two sides to this story. Local media will tell you its booming. The locals say the opposite. An over- supply of apartments and a restriction on overseas investment has seen demand and prices start to fall.


But overall Gold Coast has changed. It’s no longer a city full of transients too hard to target.

There are sprawling housing estates encroaching on the pristine hinterland. The city is packed with families, genuine households consumers, people that buy stuff. It’s an advertisers dream.


Favourite things:

Legends Seafood – Chinese Restaurant in Surfers run by Chong & Pauly. Plenty of fresh seafood and the Beef Satay is smashing. Not expensive either.


Maruya Japanese Restaurant Southport – Great atmosphere, well decorated, the food is outstanding.


Walk along the beach – this has got to be the best free activity that you can do on the Gold Coast. Put on your togs, grab a towel, have a swim, take a long walk. It’s as good as it gets. Gold Coast is a tricky market due to its proximity to the QLD capital, Surfers Paradise is a 1 hour drive from Brisbane’s city centre. This creates a competitive media environment with residents given the choice of local Gold Coast Radio and TV, or they can easily listen and watch the stations from Brisbane.


This wide choice of channels turns up the pressure on local radio to remain relevant and unique against its big city rivals.


And they do it well, with Hot Tomato 102.9 serving up local programming all day and into the night.


In the latest GFK ratings released today Hot Tomato 102.9 is the Number 1 station with a share of 15.4 just ahead of Gold 92.5 on 14.8 and Sea FM 90.9 on 11.1. Triple J was fourth on 9.6, ABC Local Radio scored a 5 share.


Total listeners for the week (cume) has Hot Tomato on top with 176,000 listeners, followed by Sea FM 167,000, and Gold FM 147,000 listeners a week.


In Breakfast, Hot Tomato’s Flan, Emily Jade & Christo top the ratings with an increase of 1.6 to 16, followed by Gold FM’s Bridge & Spida on 14.4, while Heather Dan & Ben on Sea FM came in 3rd on 12.5.


Gold FM won the Morning and Afternoon sessions but Hot Tomato’s Gayley Mal & Moyra  took Drive with a 17.8 share, ahead of The Rush Hour on Gold FM hosted by Luke Bradnam & Margaux Parker scoring a 17.1, Sea FM 3rd with their Network shows starring Carrie & Tommy along with Hughesy & Kate.


Hot Tomato also won Evenings and Weekends. Sea FM was Number 1 with 10-17, 18-24, and 25-39. Hot Tomato took the 40-54 and 55-64 demo’s, while Gold FM claims Number 1 with 65+.


Wagga Wagga


Heading south now to Wagga Wagga, the birthplace of some of Australia’s greatest sportsman. They claim the Five O’clock wave which rushes up the Murrumbidgee has something in the water that’s delivered some of our greats including Mark Taylor, Michael Slater, Geoff Lawson, Wayne Carey, Paul Kelly, Peter Sterling, the Mortimer brothers, Tony Roche, and Steve Elkington. And if that doesn’t excite you than how about Dame Edna Everage or the classic Chiko Roll, invented and first fried in Wagga Wagga.


Wagga Wagga is located just north of the Victorian border on the Sturt highway, straddling the Murrumbidgee, almost precisely half-way between Sydney and Melbourne. 

It’s one of Australia’s largest farming regions. As the gateway to the Riverina, the Wagga Wagga region grows millions of tonnes of wheat and grain each year. They also produce oranges, nuts, peaches, and over 2.3 million kilos of apples, just what you need after a Chiko Roll.


Wagga Wagga has one of the largest stock yards in the country handling over 1.5 Million sheep and around 130,000 cattle each year. Regarded as one of Australia’s major Defence cities, Wagga Wagga is home to the Kapooka Army Recruit Training Base and Royal Australian Air Force Base.


Although Wagga Wagga City has 64,000 residents, the radio signal covers a vast area including towns like Junee, Tarcutta, Cootamundra, Temora, Tumut, and Culcairn, taking the service area to over 113,000. 


Forget about the mansions on Sydney Harbour, this truly is the land of the rich.


Here are the latest Radio Ratings for Wagga Wagga conducted by Extra Insights from March 4th to March 23rd this year.


The Number 1 station in Wagga Wagga is Riverina’s HIT 93.1 with a share of 31.8, well ahead of Triple M on 17.4, followed by ABC Local Radio on 13.1.


HIT 93.1 has 40,900 listeners a week with Triple M securing 24,800.


HIT 93.1 has the Number 1 Breaky Show featuring Herbie & Dane for Breakfast with a share of 32.4, ABC Local Radio comes in 2nd on 14.8, with Triple M’s Dan & Leigh for Breakfast on 14.2.


In afternoon Drive, HIT 93.1 presents the network programs of Carrie & Tommy along with Hughesy & Kate giving them a formidable share of 37.2 well ahead of Triple M on 13.8.


Triple M does win one session, Mornings with Ray Hadley comes out on top with 24.7 just ahead of HIT 93.1 on 23.7. As is the case in many regional markets the audience is split with Under 40’s locking into HIT 93.1 and 40+ is your target on Triple M 1152AM.


If you’d like a closer look at the Radio Ratings, you can follow the links at


The 2nd of eight Metro Radio Ratings will be released next Tuesday April 30th. We will give you a summary of those results next week.


If you need help planning your next radio campaign, please give us a call or drop us a note here at


Thanks for tuning in, I think it’s time for a Chicko Roll. And I might also have crabstick and a couple of potato scallops with that. Yummo.


If you have questions or feedback on the Radio Ratings, please feel free to join the conversation below or drop me a note,


Matt Summerill is a radio advertising specialist with over 30 years-experience in the Australian radio industry. Matt operates his own media agency - SUMM Media

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