ARIAs post lowest viewership ever, but Nine has finally figured out the TV awards formula

Last night’s ARIA Awards was a tight, well-paced ceremony that celebrated the best of Aussie music – or, at least that’s what viewers saw on Nine.

Finally, it seems that Nine have nailed that elusive beast, that of the tired old award ceremony.

By choosing not to broadcast the entire four-hour (minimum) spectacle on free-to-air TV, but to instead air a tight, two-hour long tape-delayed presentation, Nine were able to fly through the awards and acceptance speeches at a rapid clip (TV viewers rarely care about hearing an artist’s management team name-checked), circling back to the winners of the less splashy category before ad breaks when needed, while also giving the live performances the airtime they deserve.

Nothing felt rushed, and mercifully, nothing felt clunky and awkward, as is always the case with made-for-TV awards shows.

Last year’s ceremony — also at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion — was a comedy of errors.

The fatal flaw the event organisers made last year was to position all the food and drink installations (this is what buffets and bars are called at such things) outside the Hordern, meaning the majority of people spent the majority of the time outside the actual venue, or standing in the doorway (near the only indoor bar) their loud, drunken conversations echoing into the cavernous arena and completely drowning out what was happening on stage.

It was clear host Natalie Imbruglia couldn’t hear herself, or the various cues she missed, while during the Olivia Newton-John tribute, the crowds were bigger (and more emotional) at the Red Rooster chicken stand. I’m not making a joke here.

You could hear the din of the conversations on the broadcast last year, while cameras kept craning over the rows of empty seats.

Anyway, that was last year.

This year, that was all addressed, and it actually looked like an award ceremony being broadcast on Nine, not a Rock Eisteddfod.

Again, this is the two-hour, sanctioned for television, delayed version of the awards aired on Nine at 7.30pm. Over the paywall on Stan, you could watch the full, live broadcast from 5pm. On YouTube, you could watch the red carpet from 1.30pm, if you’re really keen.

Of course, the ratings weren’t great. Just 238,000 tuned into Nine’s 7.30pm broadcast, across the five capital cities. This is the lowest viewing audience ever, lower than the 243,000 who tuned into across the capitals last year. And lower than the 287,000 who watched on YouTube only in 2021, during the pandemic years.

This isn’t Nine’s fault. Australian music just isn’t something Australians care about. Look at the ARIA Singles and Albums chart right now.

Singles-wise, there are two Australian songs in the entire top 50. Troye Sivan’s ‘One Of Your Girls’, at #29, and Riptide by Vance Joy – which is #30, and also happened to have come out in 2013.

The albums chart is just as bleak. Just the two albums: Troye Sivan at #31, and a vinyl reissue of The Mark Of Cain’s 1995 album Ill At Ease, which sits at #40.

So, yeah, getting 238,000 people to watch a tape delayed award ceremony for Australian music on free-to-air is a bloody miracle. And now that Nine have made the awards enjoyable to watch, things are looking up.

Here’s the rest of the night’s TV. To compare: Dessert Masters pulled 134,000 more viewers for Ten than the ARIAs did for Nine.

As for the ARIAs, the full winners list is below, but to summarise: Troye Sivan won four ARIAs, including Song of the Year, and Best Solo Artist; Genesis Owusu won three, including Album of the Year; G Flip and Forest Claudette took two each; Styalz Fuego won the producer and engineering ARIAs (arguably the two most important ones); Kylie won Best Pop Release; and Jet was inducted into the Hall Of Fame.

And Emma from The Wiggles beat out her old group for the Best Children’s Album – very controversial!

Oh, and 72andSunny with Campfire X, and INNOCEAN Australia took out the first ever adland ARIAs, with a little help from Baker Boy and John Williamson, respectively.


Album of the Year


Best Solo Artist

Troye Sivan – Rush (EMI Music Australia)

Best Group presented by Stan

DMA’S – How Many Dreams? (I OH YOU/Mushroom)

Michael Gudinski Breakthrough Artist

Teenage Dads – Midnight Driving (Chugg Music/MGM)

Best Pop Release

Kylie Minogue – Padam Padam (Liberator Music/Mushroom)

Best Dance / Electronic Release

MK and Dom Dolla – Rhyme Dust (Area 10/Big On Blue/Sony Music UK)

Best Hip Hop / Rap Release


Best Soul / R&B Release

Forest Claudette – Mess Around (feat. EARTHGANG) (Sony Music)

Best Independent Release presented by PPCA


Best Rock Album

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Ice, Death, Planets, Lungs, Mushroom and Lava (Virgin Music Australia)

Best Adult Contemporary Album

Dan Sultan – Dan Sultan (Liberation Records/ Mushroom)

Best Country Album

Fanny Lumsden – Hey Dawn (Cooking Vinyl Australia/The Orchard)

Best Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Album

Parkway Drive – Darker Still (Parkway Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia)

Best Blues & Roots Album

The Teskey Brothers – The Winding Way (Ivy League Records/Mushroom Group)

Best Children’s Album

Emma Memma – Emma Memma (GYROstream)



Best Video presented by YouTube

Good Enough – G Flip, Kyle Caulfield (Future Classic)

Best Australian Live Act

G Flip – DRUMMER Australian Tour (Future Classic)

Song of the Year presented by YouTube

Troye Sivan – Rush (EMI Music Australia)

Most Popular International Artist

Taylor Swift – Midnights (Universal Records USA/Universal Music Australia)

Telstra ARIA Music Teacher Award

Sue Lowry – Southport Special School, Yugambeh Country, Gold Coast, QLD


Best Cover Art

Jeremy Koren (Grey Ghost) and Michelle Grace Hunder – Everything Was Green – Forest Claudette (Sony Music)

Engineer – Best Engineered Release

Styalz Fuego for Troye Sivan – Rush (EMI Music Australia)

Producer – Best Produced Release presented by Neumann

Styalz Fuego for Troye Sivan – Rush (EMI Music Australia)


Best Classical Album

Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti – Indies & Idols (ABC Classic/The Orchard)

Best Jazz Album

The Vampires featuring Chris Abrahams – Nightjar (Earshift/Planet)

Best Original Soundtrack or Musical Theatre Cast Album presented by Stan

Various Artists – John Farnham: Finding The Voice (Music From The Feature Documentary) (Wheatley Records/Sony Music)

Best World Music Album

Joseph Tawadros – Those Who Came Before Us (Independent/The Planet Company)


Best Use of an Australian Recording in an Advertisement (duration of 2 minutes or less)

Google: Helping You Help Others – 72andSunny with Campfire X, Baker Boy

Best Use of an Australian Recording in an Advertisement (over 2 minutes duration)

Australian Marine Conservation Society: Voice of the Sea – INNOCEAN Australia, John Williamson


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