New Zealand Media and Entertainment's (NZME) Newstalk ZB and its Breakfast host Mike Hosking have once again smashed audience records in the latest GfK Commercial Radio audience survey released today.
Newstalk ZB dominates both radio survey listening metrics. ZB has long commanded the number one spot with the share of radio listening. It's now also the number one network with the most listeners of any commercial station across the country.
Newstalk ZB has also amassed its largest-ever share of listening in the fiercely competitive Auckland breakfast market with a massive 25.3 per cent of the Auckland breakfast radio audience for the Mike Hosking Breakfast show.
"It's very humbling that so many New Zealanders are tuning into Newstalk ZB and our show every day," said Newstalk ZB Breakfast host Mike Hosking.
"All of us at ZB are delighted with the results and we want to thank everyone who listens. I see it as flight to quality."
NZME head of talk Jason Winstanley said that growth in audience has been driven by the high level of interest in the pandemic.
"Covid is the biggest news story in our living memory, and it cuts across every single facet of New Zealand life," Winstanley said.
"Increasingly Kiwis are becoming critically aware of how crucial it is that authorities and politicians are held to account for the decisions they make. At Newstalk ZB we have never shied away from asking those questions and Kiwis are appreciating that more than ever.
"We've also stayed committed to our audiences 24 hours a day, regardless if a listener tunes in at 2pm or 2am - we are live, on-air and there for them, to listen and to chat, and that means a lot to loyal Kiwi listeners too."
The survey period included Newstalk ZB's extensive live coverage of New Zealand's record-breaking performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July and August.
While Newstalk ZB dominates the talk audience, NZME's music network ZM continues to amass listeners. Already New Zealand's number one music breakfast show in the country, ZM's Fletch, Vaughan and Megan have gained an additional 10,800 listeners in the latest survey.
Along with ZM's Drive show with Bree and Clint, both shows have more listeners in the 18 to 39 and 25 to 54 age groups than any other music station in New Zealand.
"ZM's overall result is phenomenal too. The network now has 605,700 listeners, the first time in the network's history that it has broken through the 600,000 mark. That's a great achievement and the result of the ZM teams unwavering focus on creating and sharing content that audiences love," said NZME Chief Content Officer Mike McClung.
Fletch, Vaughan and Megan have again delivered on the entertainment side. Photo / NZME
NZME Chief Radio and Commercial Officer Wendy Palmer said: "NZME's radio networks play an enormous role in the everyday lives of Kiwis right across New Zealand. Whether it's keeping Kiwis in the know with the latest news and information, connected with one another across their communities or sharing laughs and the lighter side of life – our radio teams provide Kiwis with constant companionship," said
NZME's also achieving significant audience growth across its digital audience network iHeartRadio.
For the survey period, iHeartRadio's total listening hours grew by 1.6 million or 15 per cent compared to the previous survey period to over 12.7 million hours. While NZME produced podcasts delivered a record 3.9 million downloads for the same survey period, up 12 per cent on the previous survey period.
"These numbers reflect the way Kiwi's audio consumption is evolving as we give them access to more great content that's just a tap or a swipe away on any device. This growth highlights the strength of our iHeartRadio platform and the quality of content NZME's teams are producing across all audio formats," said NZME Head of Digital Audio James Butcher.
NZME with its audio, publishing and OneRoof platforms reaches 3.4 million New Zealanders, including nzherald.co.nz New Zealand's number one news website which broke a new record in August with a monthly unique audience of 2.245 million.
"The COVID-19 pandemic continues to reinforce the important role the media plays during challenging times. Reliable, trustworthy information is more important than ever and the ability to share positive messages that keep spirits and hopes up are vital too," said NZME CEO Michael Boggs.
This week NZME launched its "Roll Up Your Sleeves Aotearoa" across all of its radio networks and digital platforms this week along with the NZ Herald's "The 90% Project" aiming to get as many New Zealanders as possible vaccinated.
"Reaching across all of our audiences and encouraging Kiwis to get vaccinated, is about keeping our communities as safe as possible from COVID-19 and helping protect the Kiwi way of life. Roll Up Your Sleeves Aotearoa reflects NZME's commitment to utilise all of our platforms to champion conversations and causes that matter," said Boggs