Regional Radio Ratings


Power FM rates a lowly 1%. I often tune to Power when in the Illawarra. I now realise that I may be the only one.


I would’ve thought you’d listen to i98 when down there, given your past comments about the station? Then again, since Power FM is no longer well received in Sydney since moving transmitters, it would be worth listening to when in the Illawarra for something different to what you normally get back home in Sydney. Also, it’s not owned by SCA. :slight_smile:

Power FM used to be more popular in the Illawarra back in the 90s, which allowed Wave FM to target a more adult audience, which made it a more interesting radio market than what it is now. This also happened to be the time when i98 & Wave were more competitive with each other than they are now.

Back in the present, looking at the demographics, it’s worth pointing out that i98 is ahead of Wave by a massive 13.3% share in the 40-54s, the demo where Wave used to dominate over a decade ago. This is up from a 6.6% gap last year, and a 7.9% gap in 2015. In breakfast, i98’s Marty, Christie & Crammy dominates with 27.7%, whilst Wave’s Mel & Travis is 3rd with 14.4% behind ABC Illawarra’s Melinda James, who scored 15.8%.

The problem with Wave FM is that its music format is a bit too similar to that of i98, with the former’s positioner being “80s to Now”, whilst the latter’s positioner is “Feel Good Music Variety”. It’s a similar situation to that of regional Triple M stations that carry the “Greatest Hits from the 80s, 90s & Now” format, particularly for 2GO & Gold FM, who are rating well behind its rivals Star & Hot Tomato respectively.

The ratings gap between i98 & Wave in the overall ratings is similar to that of between local station River 94.9 & Brisbane’s hit105 in Ipswich, in which the former has a similar audience share to that of i98’s.


That’s so interesting. When Power went to air 2OO and 2WL were still on AM. Was Power ever No.1 in the Illawarra during this time? I say that as for a while I think it had the FM advantage.


Yes, they were, although that particular ratings survey that was conducted in 1992 was commissioned by Power FM themselves, not by McNair-Anderson (which later became Nielsen). It even made the front page of the Illawarra Mercury back in June 1992 & had a half-page ad of their ratings success.

In the following year (1st Wollongong survey for 1993, back when they had 2 surveys a year, which that arrangement lasted until 2005), i98 topped the McNair-Anderson ratings with a 25.4% share, followed closely by Wave FM with 25.2%, whilst Power FM was a distant 3rd with 15.2%, which its share was similar to what Wave FM is getting today.


WOW. I thought that Power was No.1…

What a transfer of radio listenership in three short years.

In 1991 2WL is No.1
In 1992 Power is No. 1
In 1993 i98 is No. 1’

And I think that then i98 stays on top between 1993 and 2017.


Not quite. Wave FM took back the #1 position in the 2nd survey of 1993 & also won both 1994 surveys. They’ve also won 2 consecutive surveys in late 2002 & early 2003.

Whilst I’m here, it’s also worth pointing out that in evenings, Wave FM managed only 4.8%, whilst ABC Illawarra got 31.1% & i98 got 19.2%. Wave’s share in that timeslot is just ahead of that achieved by ABC Classic FM & WSFM, and was lower than that of 2GB’s! :open_mouth:


For the first time in about a decade, the Illawarra Mercury has an article about the latest Wollongong radio ratings.


The journalist was once a radio announcer too? Recognise the name?

Incorrect methodology outlined, no diary, all phone recall right?


Do you have any of the surveys from 93-02? I’ve had no luck tracking down prior to '02 (other than the few posted on here)

Historical Metro Ratings

The final regional radio ratings for the year has been released for the Townsville market:

4TO still holds on to the #1 spot with a 22.9% share, followed by hit103.1 (formerly Hot FM) with 21.8%. Meanwhile, commercial rivals Grant-owned Star & Power 100 went up from last year, with the former going up 3.8% to 12.5%, whilst the latter went up 1.9% to 10.5%.

In the demographics, hit103.1 dominates in the under-40s, whilst 4TO is dominant in the 40-64s, leaving ABC North Queensland to top the 65+. Of note, Power 100 is the #2 station in the 55-64s behind 4TO & was equal #2 in the 40-54s with hit103.1.


CRA has announced that Xtra Insights has been appointed for another 2 years as the official provider for radio ratings in regional markets.

Major markets to be surveyed this year include Hobart, Wollongong, Gosford, Townsville & Bendigo (which was last surveyed in 2016).



The first Xtra Insights regional radio ratings survey for 2018 has been released for the Geraldton market:

Spirit Radio is #1 with a 32.4% share, followed by Red FM with 24.5%, ABC Mid West & Wheatbelt with 22.8%, and JJJ with 12.2%. In the demographics, Red FM is #1 in the under-40s, whilst Spirit is #1 in the over-40s.


And what is local in Geraldton from the Spirit, Red and ABC studios?


According to their respective websites:

  • Breakfast 6am-12pm
  • Afternoons 12pm-6pm

Red FM:

  • Mornings 10am-2pm


  • Breakfast 6:30am-7:45am
  • Mornings 10am-11am


Another survey showing barely anyone listening to RN, Newsradio or Classic FM.

Come on ABC, time to come up with a format people want to listen to! Classic FM needs to be replaced with a popular format. I know I bang on about BBC 2 but … why not?

The ABC costs taxpayer money to broadcast these signals to nobody.


On the flipside, the ABC are then attacked by some parts of the media for being too popular.

That said, I think ABC Country should take precedence over Classic FM in some of these regional markets, especially given SCA’s shunting of The Range (and handing in the narrowcast licenses apparently).


I agree ABC Country should be on FM in some of these smaller regional markets in lieu of Classic FM. In larger regional centres and capital cities they should replace Classic FM with Double J.

The commercial media will always whine the ABC is too popular, it’s in their interest to try to keep ABC as niche as possible. But the fact is ABC does compete. JJJ competes with Nova and Hit, and ABC Local competes with commercial talk. Competition is healthy.


Because they’re not marketed, they’re not local, they’re not top of mind.

The regional survey methodology is flawed, it relies on recall because you’re phoned and asked what station and shift you listened to the most.

If there’s high visibility and external marketing, people will remember that radio station for the survey questions.

The best tactic to use to get a higher share is recall, you have to develop strategies to ensure you’re top of mind.


Lol. RN exists to give people a break from the mindless drivel heard on commercial radio, and increasingly ABC Local Radio. RN, Classic FM and even JJJ are an intellectual lifeblood to these communities.

They’re not after ratings as you should well know.


How do they get away with just 2 hours? Aren’t they required to do 3 hrs?