New Zealanders' hunt for news they can trust and conversations they can connect with has seen New Zealand Media and Entertainment's (NZME) Newstalk ZB continue to amass audiences.
Newstalk ZB continues to be New Zealand's number one network and grew its audience to the biggest in its history in the latest GfK Commercial Radio audience survey released today.
In the all-important battle for breakfast radio audiences, NZME wins across key audience groups with either the Newstalk ZB Mike Hosking Breakfast Show or ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan.
"With 336,800 listeners, Fletch, Vaughan and Megan are the number one music breakfast show in the country with growth of just under 25,000 listeners in this survey period. This is a great result for the ZM team - from our on-air announcers, to the production and commercial teams that work so hard behind the scenes," said NZME chief content officer Mike McClung.
The ongoing impacts of Covid-19, exclusive live audio coverage of the America's Cup and a commitment to quality news coverage had seen Newstalk ZB's already massive audience base continue to grow. Newstalk ZB had gained 29,000 new listeners since the last GfK survey at the end of last year.
"The Newstalk ZB team continues to deliver world-class news, information and opinion for audiences right across New Zealand. Our hosts attract the biggest share of Kiwi listeners across our Breakfast, Drive and Nights shows. Everyone at ZB is committed to be there for Kiwis when they need them – new listeners are always a great reward for that commitment," said NZME head of talk Jason Winstanley.
NZME launched a major reset of its radio strategy during 2020 with an audience-driven focus to ensure the best on-air teams are aligned with the best brands targeting the right audiences.
"We're continuing to fine-tune the strategy across 2021 as our teams target growing NZME's radio audience share. It's great to see a number of our brands growing their audiences including ZB, ZM, The Hits and the new station on the block, Gold FM," said NZME chief radio and commercial officer Wendy Palmer.
NZME is also building its radio brands through the growth in its digital audio platform iHeartRadio which continues to increase audiences.
Over 2 million devices connected with iHeartRadio during the first 3 months of this year, these are delivering an Audience of 1.02 Million. Over 1.1 million Kiwis are now registered with iHeartRadio with nearly 740,000 iHeartRadio App downloads.
"iHeartRadio's free, anywhere, anytime access for Kiwis wherever they are in the country is a big part of the future of audio in New Zealand," says NZME head of digital audio James Butcher.
"iHeartRadio's growth shows Kiwis are connecting from new devices to listen across the day. NZME's partnership with iHeartRadio with its free access to local radio, music and podcasts is leading the way," said Butcher.
CEO Michael Boggs said NZME was continually focused on growing the capability of all of its platforms across audio, publishing and OneRoof, to deliver commercial partners with growing opportunities to connect with engaged audiences at scale.
"Today's radio survey results can be seen alongside the huge audiences across our other platforms. The NZ Herald brand audience reaches over 2 million New Zealanders across a week, with growing readership across NZME's print publications and the 1.95 million listeners our radio brands connect with each week – NZME's capacity to reach Kiwis is very compelling," said Boggs.