March 12, 2019

Radio Ratings – The ‘Big Gun’s fire again for 2019


The first of eight Radio Ratings results have been released for 2019. The Survey 1 period was 6 weeks from January 20th to March 2nd. A week of the Survey was conducted during the last week of the school holidays.


Many of the top rating shows have continued their success into 2019.


Here is a summary of some of the results for each of the five metro markets.

Remember these are highlights and overall results. If you want to take a closer look at the Survey Summary documents, you can find them here at Commercial Radio Australia:


Remember, when deciding which station to advertise with, you should research which stations have the specific audience you need, not just by age, but by the lifestyle and spending habits of the station audience. More on that coming up.


Gfk Survey 1 – 2019 (Commercial Station Results)




  • 2GB has claimed victory as the Number 1 radio station again with a share of 13.4

  • Smooth came in 2nd, followed by WS FM, KIIS, Nova, 2Day, Triple M, 2CH, Sky Sports Radio, and last was Macquarie Sports Radio with 0.6 of a point.

  • Alan Jones & Ray Hadley remain dominant in their respective programs with Alan Jones again Number 1 in Breakfast

  • The top rating FM Breakfast show was Kyle and Jacki O on KIIS, followed by Smooth and WS FM.

  • The afternoon Drive was won by Smooth with a share of 10.2, followed by Ben Fordham on 2GB who had a huge increase gaining an extra 51,000 listeners a week.

  • 2CH in its first survey without Bob Rogers and a new launch of their music format had a good result up 1.5 overall securing a further 55,000 listeners a week

  • The shock result is Nova 96.9 down 2.1 overall and in Drive with Kate Tim & Marty, they dropped from 1st to 4th losing  a huge share of 4.3 points.




  • 3AW still tops the ratings as the Number 1 station with a share of 14.4

  • 2nd overall was Fox followed by Smooth, Gold 104.3, Triple M, Nova, KIIS, SEN, and last was Macquarie Sports Radio with 0.3 of a point.

  • Ross & John for Breakfast continue to be miles ahead of any of their competitors with a share of 19.9

  • Neil Mitchell despite losing 2.1 remains unbeatable on 3AW

  • Afternoon Drive was won by the FOX combo of Carrie & Tommy 3pm-4:30pm & Hughesy & Kate 4:30-6:30pm. 3AW’s Tom Elliot was 2nd, then Nova, Triple M and Gold 104.4 both on 9.2 with Triple M climbing 1.9.

  • A couple of results that stick out. The KIIS combo of Monty, Bec Judd & Yumi Stynes (3’oclock Pick Up) followed by Will & Woody from 4-6pm, Drive on KIIS lost 95,000 listeners.

  • And the ABC’s Triple J secured a whopping increase of 123,000 listeners a week. The Hottest 100 most likely the catalyst for that result.




  • Nova 106.9 has taken the Number 1 spot from Triple M increasing their share by 1.6 points to 12.9.

  • Triple M was relegated to 2nd then 97.3, Hit 105, 4KQ, 4BC, and last was Macquarie Sports Radio

  • In Breakfast, Nova featuring Ash, Kip, Luttsy, & Susie knocked off Triple M to become the Number 1 show

  • In afternoon Drive, Kate Tim & Marty on Nova 106.9 came out on top with 16.2, well ahead of 2nd placed Triple M on 13.1

  • Stand out performances include 4KQ climbing 2.6 points into 4th spot in Breakfast

  • 4BC lost 30,000 listeners a week, while Nova gained 33,000.




  • Mix 94.5 retained its Number 1 ranking overall

  • In Breakfast with Clairsy Matt & Kymba, Mix 94.5 climbed 1.8 to 15.1 ahead of Nova 93.7 on 13.2

  • In Drive, Triple M’s Kennedy Molly was Number 1 just 0.2 of a point in front of Kate, Tim, & Marty on Nova 93.7. Despite coming 3rd, Hit 92.9 shed 2.9 points in Drive.

  • Overall Hit 92.9 lost 60,000 listeners a week




  • Mix 102.3 dominated again with a share of 13.3 followed by Nova 91.9 on 11.2, then Hit 107, Triple M, Fiveaa, with Cruise 1323 at the back of the field.

  • Mix 102.3 is Number 1 in Breakfast with Jodie & Soda scoring 13.3, ahead of David & Will on Fiveaa with 12.4

  • In Drive, despite a dip of 1.7, Kate Tim & Marty are on top with 13.5 followed by Mix 102.3 on 12.6

  • A stand-out result was Mornings on Nova 91.9 up 33,000 listeners a week


That’s the first of the Gfk Radio Ratings for the metro markets for the year. Brisbane the only market where we see a change of Number 1 from Triple M to Nova 106.9. Most of the other ‘Big Guns’ have all come out firing again for 2019.


I mentioned earlier in the blog, that you should try to breakdown the audience of each radio station to ensure the listeners you are targeting match-up with your customer mapping.


The most obvious example would be 2GB. The station might be Number 1, but they have a large portion of their audience who are over the age of 55. If you were wanting to sell tickets on a Contiki Tour, or to an Ariana Grande concert, 2GB maybe not the station for you.


Radio stations can present you with helpful information to breakdown the audience in to a whole bunch of specific segments. Things such as:


Household incomes over $150k

Intending to travel overseas in the next 12 months

Intending to renovate their home in the next 12 months

Employ 100 or more people

Own investments of more than $200k

Like going to the movies and eating out

Spend more than $100 a week on beer wine or spirits


You can match the audience to suit your business or product.


Along with the station(s) they listen to, participants of the radio survey are asked to provide further information on their lives, from how much money they make, to what they spend it on. The company conducting the Radio Surveys, Gfk, describes this as ‘the single source lifestyle questionnaire forms part of the GfK radio survey. The data it provides gives users an excellent insight into listeners' lifestyles and purchasing habits or intentions.’


So, if you are a property developer looking to target listeners who are in the market for a new home or investment property, you should ask the radio station how many of their listeners are intending to buy a property in the next 12 months?


If you own a fruit or grocery store, the station can tell you roughly how much their listeners spend on groceries each week, and how many of them like to try new products.


If you sell 4WD’s, the station can tell you how many of their listeners like caravan and camping and would prefer to travel around Australia than fly overseas.


This is all very powerful information when deciding which station to book with, or how you should  carve up your radio advertising investment.


Here’s an example from Triple M based on the last survey of 2018. Triple M across their National Metro Network were able to claim that 1 in 4 of their male listeners were Tradespeople. That equated to 364,000 Tradies. If you’re in the business of selling workwear, power tools, hardware, beer, sports, or anything else that tradies would be interested in buying, Triple M has a Tradie audience just waiting to hear from you.


Another example is Nova 96.9 Sydney. In the last survey of 2018, they had more listeners who were Home Owners than any other station. If you sell furniture, kitchen renovations, air conditioning or anything else for the home, you would probably think Nova is the way to go. WAIT! There’s more. Before you go rushing out to spend your money on Nova, (and I’m not saying you shouldn’t) there’s another factor with Radio Ratings you need to consider.


It’s not just how many listeners a station has or how many total listeners in a specific category, it’s the SHARE, that’s the real currency when determining which station is the most powerful.


According to Gfk, SHARE “indicates a station’s relative strength within a market. It shows the percentage of total radio listening audience during a given time period tuning to a particular station. Share is a station’s average audience expressed as a percentage of the total radio audience for the same period.”


Did I hear you say WTF?  


In other words, a station might say they have 364,000 Tradies in any given week, but how long is this demographic actually listening to the station? The station might have a lot of listeners (Cume),  but how long are they listening for (Time Spent Listening)? A good metric to evaluate a stations effectiveness is by average audience. This shows the average number of listeners tuned to a radio station, per quarter hour, in any given time period.


As Alan Jones would say, “Holy Nelly!”


It’s a bit complex, but it’s essential when breaking down audience ratings. Don’t just rush in because it’s a discount deal or the stations says their Number 1. There is data available to nail down your target audience with a more precise approach delivering greater ‘bang for your buck’.


The second radio survey for the year kicked off in February with the results to be released on Tuesday April 30th.


There are also Radio Ratings out for two major regional markets in April. Canberra on April 17th and Gold Coast on April 24th. Combined both of these markets have a population reach of over a Million people with Gold Coast being Australia’s largest regional market. We will report back on both of those results when they are released.


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


As the late great American Broadcaster John Doremus use to say in his smooth deep voice, “Our time is up….as always, thank you so much, and goodbye for now.”


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.

  • Facebook - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Deezer - White Circle

© 2019 SUMM