Analysis: Survey 2 2020

Our analysis of networks and cities.

The headline news is that all radio listening has increased this survey, during the Corona virus pandemic.

The Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth markets were the most volatile.

Last survey’s Brisbane leaders (Nova and Triple M) fell, and two new stations (Hit and 97.3) took top position. In Adelaide, talk stations FIVEaa and ABC Adelaide both gained significantly and moved significantly up the rankings. In Perth Mix shot to the top position and unseated the former leaders.

Raw results here. See also: Cumes, DAB+ stations, Spin




It was mixed bag of results for SCA. By far the best was in Perth where a resurgent MIX 94.5 shot up by +2.5 in share points to retake control at the top of the ladder. To add to SCA’s joy, stablemate HIT92.9 also experienced an uptick while its main competitors both dropped sharply – Nova by -2.0 and 96.FM by -1.6.

Elsewhere, the MMM brand was up +0.5 in Sydney to reach a 5.4 share, outdoing its Melbourne namesake which was down -0.5 to land on a 5.0 share. Brisbane returned a disappointing result, tumbling by -1.4, ranking it 4th in the market. But in Adelaide things improved by +1.2 which ranked 5MMM 5th.

Apart from Perth, it was not a great set of results for the HIT brand. Sydney’s 2Day remained relatively steady with a -0.2 decline while FOX in Melbourne shed -0.3 as did HIT105 in Brisbane and -0.8 in Adelaide.


Nova Entertainment


In Survey 2, If people weren’t rushing to news talk for the latest on COVID19, it seems they were seeking the comfort of mellow tones on smoothfm. Both stations in the network gained share. While Melbourne’s 91.5 was up just a hair, +0.1 to tie with the ABC for 3rd place, Sydney’s 95.3 waxed on +0.9 to also place it in third in its market.


As much as Nova was up everywhere last time, it was down everywhere this. Down by -0.7 share in Sydney for a 7.0 overall. Down -1.1 in Melbourne for a 7.2. Down -0.7 in Brisbane to trade first place for third by just 0.1 from the new joint leaders HIT and 97.3. In Adelaide, Nova was down -0.8 and in Perth the brand tumbled by -2.0 handing the lead back to MIX 94.5 which was up +2.5.


It was a mixed bag too for ARN, posting its best performances where it counts most, in Sydney and Melbourne. In Sydney, both KIIS106.5 and WSFM increased their share, the former by +0.4 and the latter by +0.5. In Melbourne, KIIS eased back -0.5 and while GOLD104.7 also shed a tad, -0.1, the Christian O’Connell breakfast show was up +0.2 helping the station cement second place in the market.

In Brisbane, despite a small drop of -0.3, 97.3FM found itself level pegging with HIT105 for first place on a 10.5 share. Meanwhile, the venerable 4KQ shed -0.4 in share but was still able to brush off a challenge from a rising 4BC to remain #1 commercial AM station, with a 7.9 share.

And while we’re talking AM music stations, Adelaide’s equally venerable CRUISE1323 managed an 11.1 share for a place in the top four. The long-time market leader and ARN stablemate MIX102.3 stayed that way but with a narrow margin.

In Perth, the meteoric rise of 96FM was halted with a -1.6 drop in share.

NINE Radio and other talk

It was a red letter day for the Nine suite of metro talk stations thanks to COVID19. 2GB shot up by +1.6 to extend its lead with an 14.8 share of Sydney by 5.2 from second placed ABC SYD. Every shift gained with Alan Jones the star performer leaping up by giant +3.1. 3AW also extended its lead in Melbourne but with a more modest rise of 0.6.

In Brisbane, 4BC which is mainly networked from Sydney, managed a +0.9 gain, while in Perth, 6PR climbed 1.2.

NovaEnt’s only AM talk station, FIVEaa in Adelaide was up a massive 3.2 to tie with the ABC for second place on an 11.3 share.


ABC Local Radio 

As with the NINE Radio network, the COVID19 pandemic did no harm to the ABC Local network’s ratings. All their stations enjoyed solid gains. Sydney, +0.7, Melbourne +1.0, Brisbane +1.2, Adelaide +1.1, Perth +0.3

triple j

There’s no doubt they love the js in Perth where it commands a 10% share of the listening audience (10+, Mon-Sun, 5:30 – midnight). But in Perth, that’s only good enough for 5th place – yet it’s only 2.6 behind the market leader, MIX94.5.  Along with 6jjj, which gained +0.2, Adelaide rose +0.1 and Melbourne was up by +0.6. On the downside was Sydney, -1.4 and Brisbane -0.7.





Triple j fell most, down 1.4 overall, as the Hot 100 effect waned for the ABC’s national youth station. 2GB and smooth had the biggest gains.

  • Top station 2GB increased its lead, gaining 1.6 share points overall to 14.8%, as the station’s stars, Jones and Hadley, take up the causes of those who need help during the pandemic and scrutinise actions being taken at all levels of government and society.
  • ABC Sydney consolidated its second place position, gaining 0.7 to 9.6%, with listeners seeking news and balanced analysis of the ongoing crisis.
  • Smooth moved into third place, up 0.9 to 9.0%, as people seek a calming music alternative while shut in or working from home.
  • WSFM gained 0.7, but slipped into fourth place on 8.9%, as smooth moved up into third.
  • Fifth placed KIIS gained 0.4 to 8.5%, with indications that commuter timeslots in some demographics are changing in the midst of working from home and traveling less in peak hours.

In other interesting results, 2UE resumed ratings inclusion on the same figure, 0.7%,  as when it was last surveyed at the end of 2019. Other news stations ABC NewsRadio and Radio National were steady. Sky Sports predictably slipped a little as sporting competitions were put on hold, although Triple M seems to have pivoted from sport to pandemic related content successfully enough to grow its audience, despite not have as much sport to discuss.

Nova won the 10-24 demographics, KIIS won 25-39s, WSFM won 40-54s, 2GB won the over 55s.

2GB increased its hold on the breakfast audience, followed by ABC Sydney then KIIS. 2GB won mornings, while 2GB and Smooth tied for control of the afternoon timeslot. ABC Sydney took back the drive timeslot lead, ahead of previous winner of that slot, Nova and 2GB. 2GB won evenings and weekends.


ABC Melbourne had the biggest rise this survey and Nova had the biggest fall.

  • 3AW maintained top position, up 0.6 share points to 13.9% overall.
  • Second placed Gold slipped 0.1 to 10.7%.
  • Smooth and ABC Melbourne tied for third place, with smooth gaining 0.1, and ABC Melbourne jumping 1.0, so that both scored 9.7%.
  • Fourth placed Fox slipped 0.3 to 8.1%.
  • Fifth placed Nova dropped 1.1 to 7.2%.

Magic resumed its hibernation after its name change, coming back in at 0.2, down from the 0.4 it scored in Survey 8 last year. SEN’s sports focussed audience was up as listeners followed the deliberations of whether there would be any play in the AFL during the pandemic.

Nova won 10-24s, just ahead of Fox. 25-39s was won by triple j, followed by Fox, Gold won 40-54s and 3AW won the over 55s.

3AW won the breakfast timeslot ahead of ABC Melbourne then Gold. 3AW won all othner timeslots in the market this survey, with strong increases in breakfast and evening.


ABC Brisbane gained most this survey, while Triple M and triple j fell hardest.

The tussle for top spot continues in the Brisbane market, with two stations claiming line honours this time around and becoming the new market leaders.

  • Hit 105 and 97.3 tied for top position on 10.5%, with both stations slipping fractionally to record the same result.
  • Second placed Nova lost 0.7, falling to 10.4%, just below the leaders.
  • Previous top station Triple M dropped to third place, shedding 1.4 share points to score 9.9% overall.
  • ABC Brisbane moved into fourth place, up 1.4 to 8.4%.
  • Fifth placed triple j lost 1.1 to score 8.1%.

4BH returned to the market with a 0.4 share, down from then 0.8 it held at the end of last year. ABC NewsRadio gained 0.6 to 1.8% and commercial talk station 4BC gained 0.9 to score 7.6%.

Nova won the 10-17 demographic, 97.3 fm won 18-24s, Hit won 25-39s, 97.3 won 40-54s, 4KQ won 55-64s and ABC Brisbane won then over 65s.

Hit won breakfast ahead of ABC Brisbane then 97.3fm. Mornings was won by 97.3fm, Triple M won afternoons, Nova won drive, ABC Brisbane won evenings and 97.3fm won weekends


FIVEaa had a huge gain, increasing by 3.2 and jumping into the top 5. Rival ABC Adelaide also scored a strong increase, as did Triple M. Hit and Nova lost the most, although both dropped less than one share point.

  • Mix 102.3 held its top position, slipping 0.7 to 11.9%.
  • FIVEaa surged into second place, up 3.2 share points to 11.3% overall, and equal with ABC Adelaide, which jumped  1.1 share points to also score 11.3%
  • Third placed Cruise gained 0.5 to 11.1%.
  • Nova dropped into fourth place, down 0.8 to 10.2%.
  • Triple M was fifth, gaining 1.2 to score 8.4%

Nova won the 10-24 demographics, Hit won 25-39s, Mix won 40-64s and ABC Adelaide won the over 65s.

ABC Adelaide won breakfast ahead of FIVEaa then Mix. In their second ever commercial radio ratings result, Nova’s Ben and Liam went against the trend, dropping only 0.2% from 9.9% to 9.7% They now move up to be the Number 2 FM Breakfast show beating SCA’s Hit 107 and their former station  triple J.

Mix won mornings and afternoons, Nova won drive, FIVEaa won evenings and Cruise won weekends.


Mix 94.5 had the biggest rise of the survey and 6PR also showed strong gains. 96fm and Nova both fell.

  • Mix surged into top position, gaining 2.5 share points to score 12.6% overall.
  • Second placed 96fm fell 1.6 to 12.0% and was equal with Nova.
  • Previous leader Nova dropped into equal second position after losing 2 share points to score 12.0%.
  • Hit was third, up 0.8 to 10.1%.
  • Fourth placed triple j gained 0.2 to 10%.
  • 6PR jumped into fifth position, up 1.2 to 7.5%, followed by ABC Perth on 7.2%

Hit 92.9 won the 10-17s, triple j won 18-39s, 96fm won 40-54s, Mix won 55-64s and ABC Perth won the over 65s.

Nova won breakfast, Mix won mornings, 96fm won afternoons, Nova won drive, Mix own evenings and Nova won weekends


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