How much music do music stations really play?

Guest Post from Paul Amos Managing Director Xtra Insights

While the value of music to the overall strategy of many radio stations has diminished during the past 10 years, music still accounts for over half the airtime on the major commercial FM and music-based AM stations in Australia, according to figures released by monitoring platform, Tracka.

Not surprisingly, Breakfast was the daypart where the least amount of music was played, accounting for just ¼ of all content. And nobody plays less music than Kyle and Jackie O, with music making up only 1% of their total content.

These results are reflective of the past month and are subject to seasonal change. For example, the football season and summer holidays impact on the amount of music played. Currently, music only accounts for 1/3 of all content on the Triple M network between 6am – 6pm Saturdays & Sundays.

For the foreseeable future, despite its currency declining, music will remain important to many radio stations, simply based on economics and the realities of a limited talent pool. As one Content Director with high profile personalities put it recently, “Music is an escape from all the talk. And sometimes we need that. It allows the talent to regroup and deliver their best content, while giving the listener an opportunity to lean back with their favourite song.”



Of course, music for some stations, insert smooth here, is a winning formula. However, with audio competition coming from many sources and not just the station up the road, the role and effectiveness of music on radio has changed….forever! Like everything in radio, it’s about getting the balance right.


Graphs represent a one-month period up to 15th September 2023.

Percentage of music content is compared to the sum of all other content – announcers, news, sport, traffic, commercials, promos.



Paul Amos