Melbourne Radio Ratings: Talk stations dip as Gold dominates FM

The Melbourne radio market appears to be returning to a state closer to that of pre-COVID listening, as AM talk stations lost share following a year where they took full advantage of Melbourne’s greater appetite for news content.

Nine Radio’s 3AW remains easily the #1 offering in Melbourne overall, but lost 3.3 percentage points in survey one of 2021 to finish with a 16.3% share of listening. ABC Melbourne also dipped to 6.7% (negative two points) in the overall ratings.

The “reset” of the Melbourne market, predicted at the end of 2020 by Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson and Southern Cross Austereo’s Dave Cameron, saw several music-drive FM stations gain share.

The move from talk to music was also reflected on 3AW’s #1 breakfast show with Ross Stevenson and Russell Howcroft, who lost share for the second successive survey. They still hold an impressive 22.2% share (-2.8 points).

Christian O’Connell and Gold are leading the FM revival in Melbourne

Australian Radio Network’s Gold FM was one of the key beneficiaries of this shift, as it left all other FM stations in its wake to finish survey one with an 11% share, up two percentage points.

The Christian O’Connell breakfast show also rose in share, up to 8.9% (+1.4), but is third overall, still behind both 3AW and ABC breakfast.

During the survey period, 17 January to 27 February, several other FM stations moved in an upward trajectory.

Following a disappointing 2020, Fox FM jumped 0.8 percentage points to 7.5%, while fellow CHR/AC offering KIIS 101.1 gained 1.3 percentage points to finish with a 5.3% share.

Nova Entertainment stations Nova 100 (+0.7 to 6.3%) and Smooth 91.5 (+1.1 to 8.9%) both increased their share as well, with the latter holding its position as the #2 FM station in Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Triple J grew its share both overall and on breakfast, as it traditionally does during the first survey of the year which encompasses the Hottest 100 countdown.

Melbourne Radio Ratings – survey one [click to enlarge]

SCA debuted two new breakfast shows this book, with Nick Cody joining Fifi Box and Brendan Fevola on Fox FM, and the Marty Sheargold Show replacing Eddie McGuire‘s Hot Breakfast on Triple M Melbourne.

It was a mixed result for SCA, as the Fox breakfast began to claw back some of the share it lost in 2020, growing 0.6 percentage points to finish with a 7.2% share of listening.

Sheargold, meanwhile, had a small dip, down to 6.2% (-0.6) as he works to establish himself in the market.

On drive, Nova Entertainment’s still relatively new offering of Kate, Tim and Joel picked up 0.9 points to reach 7.7%, though among FM shows it remains behind Gold’s Gavin Miller (+2.6 to 10.4%) and Fox FM’s Carrie and Tommy (+1.8 to 9.5%).

3AW and ABC’s drive shows remain #1 and #2 respectively, among both AM and FM shows.


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