Metro Radio Ratings: Survey 1, 2021

To be released at 9:30 AEDT…


…then what’s the point of making the thread before they’re released?


For the excitement!

Gives me time to get the popcorn ready!



Just enough time to make a coffee before 9:30.


I wouldn’t be putting champagne on ice if you’re expecting to celebrate a 2Day FM breakfast show podium placing.


4.4% bfast, same disaster as expected for 2DAY


Still great results for AW, bfast over 20%, morning just under.


2CH has a bigger audience than SEN 1170.


In Sydney, 2GB remains at #1 with 14.4%, with ABC Sydney having a decent rise of 3.7% to 12.2%. Smooth fell 0.5 to 9.4%, but remains #1 FM station in Sydney, followed by KIIS at 7.9% (-1.8), WS at 6.6% (-0.5), Nova at 6.4% (-0.4) & 2MMM at 6.1% (Steady). 2Day only had a slight rise of 0.2 to 4.2%, whilst 2UE had a good rise of 1.1 to 2.3%. SEN debuted with just 0.4%, below that of Sky Sports Radio, which had a 0.8% share.

In Melbourne, 3AW remains at #1 with 16.3%, followed by Gold 104.3 with 11% (+2), Smooth with 8.9% (+1.1), ABC Melbourne with 8.7% (-2), Fox with 7.5% (+0.8), Nova with 6.3% (+0.7), JJJ with 5.9% (+1), KIIS with 5.8% (+1.3) & 3MMM with 5.2% (-1). Magic scored a 1.5% share (+0.1), whilst 3MP debuted with 0.7% & RSN with 0.3%.

In Brisbane, Nova is on top with 11.4%, followed by B105 with 10.2%, 97.3 & 4MMM tied for 3rd with 9.9%, 4KQ with 9%, JJJ with 8.7% & ABC Brisbane with 8.4%. 4BC scored a 6.7% share, whilst 4BH went up 1% to 2.1%.

In Adelaide, Mix 102.3 remains on top with 13%, followed by a two-way tie for 2nd place between Cruise & ABC Adelaide with 10.8% apiece, followed by FiveAA with 10%, Nova with 9.8%, SAFM with 9% & 5MMM with 8.2%.

And in Perth, Nova is on top with 13.6%, whilst Mix 94.5 still rates decently at 2nd place with 12.6%, despite the change in affiliation from Triple M to Hit. 96fm fell 1.5% to 9.8%, followed by JJJ with 8.6% & 6PR with 8.2%. Triple M debuted with 8%, down 0.7% from Hit 92.9, whilst 6iX remained rather stagnant at 4.4%.


Magic 1278, despite the lowest overall share of the three Nine music stations still has over double the share of 3MP:


In Perth…

96 and MMM both had poor surveys.

96 more so, losing in key age demos.

MMM didn’t set the world on fire, but it is their first survey.

Duncan will be onto Gary and Daniel for better results. 96fm really needed to do better. Perhaps that will happen with Botica “retired” again and Clairsy on bfast bringing the average age down a few a decades?

6PR went up slightly, perhaps they have engaging election content? State election is this weekend.


Almost back to normal in Melbourne with FM stations pick up listeners at breakfast (in particular Fox, Nova, KIIS and Gold), as more people returned to work.

Marty Sheargold’s debut on Triple M recorded a lower share than Eddie McGuire and Luke Darcy’s last stint as co-hosts of Hot Breakfast.


What’s going on with 3AW evenings? Quite a drop. Perhaps they need to pull Phil out of retirement or network John Stanley from Sydney. He’s going gangbusters on 2GB.


A good result for 2UE. It can only go up further, I think.


Quite interesting results particularly in Sydney and Perth.
Firstly Perth, I am quite surprised Mix 94.5 did so well in this survey considering the negative comments about the changes and the inconsistencies in the music. I was expecting it to bomb massively.

2day fm breakfast up and KIIS breakfast down and down across the day. We are now back to having a crowded three CHR / Hot AC market in Sydney with 2day re entering this market. Nova has won the youth back from KIIS.

It will be interesting to see in surveys to come whether 2day can build further at breakfast or if this is a once off.


Here’s the actual Melbourne rankings with some brief thoughts:



  • The transition from COVID talk back to music was bigger than expected, but clearly the major change of the survey
  • The decline in average audiences is also probably consistent with the return to new normal with radio no longer considered as relevant
  • Possibly the simply explanation is that the people who tuned (primarily) into talk stations for COVID updates, simply stopped listening to radio, hence the music stations took a greater share
  • Interestingly the average audience for breakfast in Melbourne remained lower (778k) than mornings (819k) although both went backwards in terms of size - brekky down 74k, mornings down 132k.

Individual stations

  • Returning stations 3MP and RSN really struggled to make an impact and I would be unimpressed with Magic if I was the boss of NineRadio. These stations all make it clear - minimal promotions = minimal awareness/ratings
  • Despite the slight decrease for SEN, Hutchy should be relatively happy given 1) RSN’s lousy rating and 2) historic reduction in Survey 1.
  • 3MMM’s breakfast change had an impact, but at least it remains a station leader (ie it rates above the station average)
  • Gold seems to have had the main benefit from 3MMM’s changes - up in brekky and overall
  • Smooth’s pivot/refinement has paid off (didn’t see that working - so well done)

Some thoughts…

No real change at 2DayFM, but what can you expect so early?
Slow start for SEN, but at half of Sky without any real sport this survey they should be happy and have an achievable target in sight.
Big drops at KIIS, and gains at ABC Sydney. Unlikely too many have made that move so could be a sign that the market is moving around. This has made way for Smooth to be back at #1 FM overall, but KIIS are still #1 FM at breakfast by a long shot.

A slow start for 3MP but not bad considering they’ve had to find an audience from scratch.
FM’s up as expected with the COVID situation improving.
No substantial changes, but the change at Triple M Breakfast appears to have helped Gold and KIIS.

The 4 FMs remain neck and neck with Nova still hanging onto #1 by a whisker.

Tough times for Ben and Liam at Nova. SAFM now ahead of Nova at breakfast. This is SAFM’s best survey in a long time.
Gains for Mix at the expense of Triple M.

Gains for Mix, a slight drops for 96FM, Nova and Triple M. SCA will be happy with this as it suggests that some of the Hit92.9 audience have successfully moved to Mix. Triple M numbers not bad compared to Hit92.9 being a different format. It appears there’s enough interest in the new format to keep or gain listeners and they can continue to work on middle-aged Male audience of 96FM and Nova.


From Nine

Talk radio dominates in Sydney and Melbourne with clear year-on-year growth

3AW and 2GB are the clear number #1 radio stations in Melbourne and Sydney after recording their best GfK Survey 1 results in more than a decade. Across Australia Nine’s talk radio stations (3AW, 2GB, 4BC & 6PR) have also grown their audience by 6.4% year-on-year and retained their #1 position in the key 40+ demographic with a 28.1% share.

Greg Byrnes, Nine Radio’s Head of Content said: “This survey proves that 3AW and 2GB are the “must listen” radio stations in their cities. We are way out in front as #1 and the audiences are getting even bigger. More than 100,000 new listeners are turning in each week when compared to a year ago.
“Ben Fordham in Sydney and Ross and Russ in Melbourne have again recorded stunning results while in Perth, Gareth Parker has grown the 6PR Breakfast audience by 26% year-on-year.

“Right across the country talk audiences are growing stronger year-on-year, with more and more people turning to us for live and local news and opinion.”

The results around the country are:

2GB 873 is the clear leader in Sydney – #1 across Breakfast, Mornings, Evenings and Weekends recording its 131st consecutive survey win, with an 14.4% audience share (up 1.2 points year-on-year). This is 2GB’s best Survey 1 result in a decade.

• Ben Fordham Live has started 2021 with its best-ever result – retaining the #1 Breakfast crown with an audience share of 18.1% (up 3.3 points year-on-year).

• The Ray Hadley Morning Show remains dominant in Mornings. Survey 1 saw the show recording an audience share of 16.1% and three points clear of his nearest competitor. This is Ray’s 131st consecutive win.

• Afternoons with Deborah Knight continued its strong performance, with an audience share of 11% (up 1.6 points year-on-year).

• Drive with Jim Wilson performed well in the competitive Drive timeslot, with an 8.3% audience share (time adjusted).

• Nights with John Stanley leaves daylight between him and his competitors with an audience of 24.4% (up 5.2 points year-on-year), well ahead of its competitors (time adjusted).

• 2GB Weekends (including The Garden Clinic, Chris Smith, The Two Murrays and Saturday Night Live with Stevie Jacobs) continues to grow with its audience share at 14.8% (up 2.4 points year-on-year).

• Networked programs Wide World of Sports with Mark Levy (2GB) and Money News with Brooke Corte (2GB, 3AW, 4BC) continue to perform strongly in their early evenings timeslot holding their audience.

Source: GfK Radio Ratings, 2GB Sydney Survey 1 2021, Mon-Fri 5.30am-9am, Mon-Fri 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm, Mon-Fri 8pm-12MN, Sat-Sun 5.30am-12MN, Market Share %, AP10+ .

This is 3AW’s best Survey 1 result in 14 years.

• 3AW maintains its dominance in Melbourne – #1 across Breakfast, Mornings, Drive, Evenings and Weekends. In Survey 1, 3AW recorded an audience share of 16.3% (up 3 points year-on-year).

• Breakfast with Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft posted a 23.1% share in their timeslot (time adjusted) and retained the #1 Melbourne’s Breakfast show crown. The show is up 6.7 points year-on-year and this marks 151 consecutive surveys and a total of 222 wins for 3AW as Melbourne’s #1 Breakfast show (time adjusted).

• Neil Mitchell is the clear dominant leader in his timeslot. 3AW Mornings recording a 19% share (up 4 points year-on-year) (time adjusted).

• Dee Dee Dunleavy’s Afternoons performed strongly post midday drawing a 11.5% share (up 0.5 points year-on-year) (time adjusted).

• Tom Elliott is #1 in the highly competitive Drive timeslot. 3AW Drive had a share of 13.9% (up 1.4 points year-on-year) (time adjusted).

• Denis Walter’s Nights program remains #1 in its timeslot in Melbourne recording a 15.4% share (time adjusted).

Source: GfK Radio Ratings, 3AW Melbourne Survey 1 2021, Mon-Fri 5.30am-8.30am, Mon-Fri 8.30am-12pm, Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm, Mon-Fri 8pm-12MN, Market Share %, AP10+

Brisbane’s 4BC 1116 return to local programming continues to see audience improvement posting a share of 6.7% among all people 10+ in Survey 1.

  • Breakfast with Neil Breen has recorded a growth in cumulative audiences (year-on-year), posting a 7.9% share in Brisbane for the first survey of 2021.

  • The Ray Hadley Morning Show holds strong in Brisbane with a 9.8% share in his timeslot (9-11am) this is up 1.2 points year-on-year (time adjusted).

  • Afternoons with Deborah Knight has recorded a 6.4% share in the timeslot (time adjusted).

  • Drive with Scott Emerson posts an audience share of 4.2% share in the timeslot. (time adjusted).

  • Nights with John Stanley had a 9.0% share in his timeslot (time adjusted).

Source: GfK Radio Ratings, 4BC Brisbane Survey 1 2021, Mon-Fri 5.30am-9am, Mon-Fri 9am-11am, Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm, Mon-Fri 8pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 5.30am-12MN, Market Share %, AP10+

Perth’s 6PR 882 has achieved an audience share of 8.2% in the first survey of 2021 after relaunching its on-air line up. The station is up 1.9 points year-on-year.

  • Breakfast with Gareth Parker has grown its cumulative audience by 26% (year-on-year), posting a 10.8% share (up 2.8 points year-on-year) for Gareth’s first survey in the Breakfast timeslot.

  • Mornings with Liam Bartlett had a 8.1% share in his first survey in the morning timeslot (up 2 points year-on-year).

  • Steve Mills’ new afternoons show Millsy at Midday recorded a share of 7.2% on its debut, up 1.1 points year-on-year (time adjusted).

  • Perth Live with Oliver Peterson has held strong its audience with a 6.9% share up 1 point year-on-year, (time adjusted).

  • The Nightshift with Tod Johnston grew its timeslot drawing a share of 11.5% (up 3.3 points) for his first survey (time adjusted).

Source: GfK Radio Ratings, 6PR Perth Survey 1 2021, Mon-Fri 5.30am-9am, Mon-Fri 9am-12pm, Mon-Fri 12pm-3pm, Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm, Mon-Fri 8pm-12MN, Market Share %, AP10+

1 Like

If that drop is sustained for four or five surveys, it would be a worry, usually an anomaly. Denis usually does well at night and his first year of surveys at night showed an improvement on the disgraceful Macq Media destruction of AW Nightline.



Thanks @Rob_Melb_AU for insightful commentary.

You sure won’t read that quality on the spruiking websites (industry media release relay sites Radio Today et al).

As is this comment from @Rob_Melb_AU:

Correct and ignored by stations. Crocmedia need to address this for both their main Sydney stations SEN and 2CH.

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