Melbourne radio ratings: 3AW and ABC Melbourne surge as Melbourne deals with COVID-19 lockdowns

GfK radio ratings were paused in April due to COVID-19. The last released survey was survey two, released on April 16. Survey three, four and five were cancelled. This story covers survey six, which ran from Sun Jul 26 to Sat Sept 19. Survey seven will be released as normal.

Nine Radio’s 3AW and ABC Melbourne have emerged as the winners of radio ratings survey six, the first survey since the GfK ratings system was paused earlier this year.

3AW rose 3.0 percentage points in market share across the surveyed period of Sun Jul 26 to Sat Sept 19, as did ABC Melbourne. 3AW is the market leader with 16.9% share, while ABC Melbourne holds 12.7%.

Howcroft joined 3AW in early August

In breakfast, 3AW also climbed, rising 8.8 percentage points to 26.1% – a record result. At the beginning of August, ad man Russel Howcroft replaced longtime breakfast host John Burns, alongside co-host Ross Stevenson. This marks 148 consecutive surveys and a total of 219 wins for 3AW as Melbourne’s number one breakfast show.

Nine Radio head of content, Greg Byrnes, said it was a great result for the network.

“We are humbled and grateful that in times like this Melbourne knows it can trust 3AW, its presenters and newsbreakers,” said Byrnes.

“This is the first survey since Russel Howcroft joined Ross Stevenson on the breakfast show and their record result is stunning.”

ABC Melbourne also did well in breakfast, climbing 3.1 percentage points to 14.9%. Comedian Sammy J replaced Sami Shah and Jacinta Parsons in the ABC Melbourne breakfast slot at the beginning of this year.

The radio ratings for survey six were completed entirely via ediaries in Melbourne, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns and related travel restrictions. Traditionally, the survey process is done using paper diaries.

Melbourne radio ratings – survey six [click to enlarge]

In FM, Australian Radio Network’s Gold 104.3 held onto its top spot despite falling 2.0 percentage points to an overall market share of 8.7%. This marks its sixth survey as the top FM station. Southern Cross Austereo’s Fox FM also fell, 2.2 percentage points to 5.9% and Nova 100 dropped 1.9 percentage points to 5.3%. Nova’s Smooth FM also fell 2.2 percentage points to 7.5%.

Gold’s Christian O’Connell held onto his top FM breakfast spot with a 7.2% share, a 2.2 percentage point drop. FM breakfast saw a drop across the board – Nova’s Chrissie, Sam and Browny dropped 3.2 percentage points to 4.6%, after being the breakfast leaders at the end of 2019, while Fox FM’s Fifi, Fev and Bryon dropped 3.0 percentage points to 4.8%. ARN’s Kiis FM saw its breakfast show, Jase and PJ, drop 2.4 percentage points to 4.4%.

Melbourne radio ratings – survey six – total people


In drive, Nova lost its FM drive lead, falling 4.0 percentage points to 6.3% for the last survey of the Kate, Tim and Marty show. Joel Creasey replaced Marty in September. Gold’s Gavin Miller is now the top FM drive show with 8.3%. 3AW still holds the top spot overall with 13.6%.

Triple M was the only FM station that didn’t experience drops across the board – it grew 0.9 percentage points overall to 5.9%, climbed 1.5 percentage points in breakfast and 1.8 percentage points in drive.

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