Canberra - Survey 3, 2023


Mix 106.3 remains on top, despite dropping 4.2 points to 21.6%. This is followed by Hit 104.7 with 15.5% (+0.8), ABC Canberra with 13% (+1.9), JJJ with 7.6% (+1.1), ABC Classic with 7% (-0.9), 2CA with 6.9% (+0.6), RN with 6.6% (-0.8), and 2CC with 4.9% (+0.3).

In the demos, Hit is #1 in the 25-39s, with Mix winning the 18-24s & 40-64s, and ABC Canberra winning the 65+.

In breakfast, Mix’s Kristen & Nige is #1 with 21.7% (-4.0), followed by ABC Canberra’s Adam Shirley with 13.7% (+1.4), Hit’s Ned & Josh with 13.5% (+1.0), and RN’s Patricia Karvelas at 11.4% (+1.5). In drive, Mix’s CBR Wrapped is #1 with 23.9% (-1.7), followed by Hit’s Carrie & Tommy with 20.5% (+3.5), and JJJ’s Tyrone & Abby with 10.4% (-0.3).


2CC crying in their corn flakes again today? Time to adjust local content to what the market wants?

Mix winning 18-24 shows JJJ and 104.7 not meeting the market either.

ABC a long way off their once usual highs. Again, change of content has lost audience.


Canberra has to be the most boring survey of the city markets at least. I can’t work out why 2CA can’t perform better or at least as well as 4BH or Cruise (both in massively more competitive markets). Perhaps demographics play into it a bit.


Although hardly a like-for-like comparison in terms of radio diversity and population I’m always interested in comparing the major news/talk station ratings with that of another public-servant-rich national capital, Washington DC.

In terms of those with a conservative bent, WMAL currently gets 3.5% (although has been up towards 5% at times in the past year) while the comparative 2CC in Canberra gets 4.9%. So somewhat similar there which isn’t a great surprise.

For the public broadcasters, DC’s NPR affiliate (NPR somewhat incorrectly seen by many in the US to be “leftist”) WAMU tops the ratings consistently and is currently on 11.6, while ABC Canberra has a 13 and its now-mostly-podcast-format RN associate gives another 6.6 (certainly the highest of the capital cities for sure btw?).

The massive outlier to note here, of course, is the behemoth that is the heritage and usually locally-focused all-news WTOP, which has a large signal plus translators which reach out into neighbouring Virginia and Maryland, even as far as Baltimore (it even turns up in the Baltimore ratings). WTOP has in the past fought it out with WAMU for top place in the beauty-pageant 6+ numbers and is currently on 9.3%. For a sort-of comparison, ABC Newsradio with its national focus still does relatively decently in Canberra (especially compared with other parts of the country) hovering around the 5% mark.


2CA seems to be a bit like its Perth sister 6IX, they just keep plugging away but their audience numbers never wildly shift from their low position.

Does Canberra have any limitations around AM reception? ABC radio seems to rate well but they are down the lower end of the dial at 666 and 846 and probably (?) on higher signal strength than 2CA/2CC? News Radio got shifted from 1440 AM supposedly due to reception concerns.

JJJ got an increase in 10-17, 18-24 and 25-39 in Canberra. But does JJJ win 18-24 anywhere? Perth, probably?


I could be wrong but doesn’t Canberra have a younger left skewing audience that wouldn’t listen as much to 2CA or 2CC? They need a station doing something different to shake things up. As long as either FM104.7 or Mix 106.3 are number one as they have no incentive to change. It’s been that way for over 20 years. They seem to have cut back on their weekend presenters, I was down that way a few months ago and on the weekend in the afternoon it wasn’t even voice tracked they just did not have a presenter on either station.


I think the biggest demographic difference in Canberra is that those who in other cities might listen to an AM Music station are in Canberra listening to ABC Classic, RN and News Radio.


My take on the Canberra Ratings and the market in general.

Music wise 2CA skews older than Mix 106.3, but looking at the logs of Mix 106.3 and 2CA, there is often quite abit of overlap between the two stations with their late 70’s and 80’s music. Of course Mix 106.3 also plays new music that gets played on Hit , that is not on 2CA.

Why listen to 2CA when you can hear similar music on Mix 106.3 in fm stereo?

The Canberra Market skews older, remember how successful fm 104.7 was when they skewed older with a predominantly rock format. Mix 106.3 has that format now and they are the market leaders.

The other issue affecting the Canberra market is no fm frequencies due to the Tuggeranong translators preventing fm conversations for 2CA. IMO if 2CA managed to get on Fm they would need to change formats as Mix 106.3 owns that format. They would need to go either Star 104.5 or the original Smooth format to differentiate form Mix 106.3. Also going purely rock probably would not work either with Mix 106.3 owning that genre to a degree.

The ABC stations do well because of the left leaning political view of Canberra. Maybe 2CC leans too far to the right as they take Hadley, and also took Alan Jones in the past?

Canberra radio will remain predictable until fm conversions can happen for 2CA / 2CC and they can complete with the Canberra fm juggernaut.