3AW* has retained top position in the fifth radio survey of the year, fending off runner-up Smooth FM, while ABC Melbourne managed to claw back audience share for the second survey in a row.
3AW recaptured the audience share it lost during the previous survey, lifting its overall audience by 2.1 percentage points to 16.7 per cent. This was by far the largest gain across all stations, with the second-largest belonging to SEN, which increased by 0.6 percentage points to 3.7 per cent.
In a minor shuffle in the FM rankings, Smooth FM overtook Gold – the former runner-up station – jumping to a 9.9 per cent audience share compared to Gold’s 9.6 per cent, a dip of 1.2 percentage points. However, 3AW remains comfortably ahead as its average share of listeners exceeds Smooth FM by 6.8 per cent.
This survey – which covered May 21 to August 12 – was the third completed under the new measurement model, Radio 360. It takes into consideration modern radio listening habits (including traditional AM and FM broadcasts, the DAB+ digital platform, and streaming via devices such as phones and internet-enabled smart speakers), based on regular survey results and information from a 2000-person panel of respondents wearing a meter-watch.
An average of 500,000 people listened to radio during this survey period, down from the previous average audience of 518,000 people.
After a rocky start to the year, ABC Melbourne’s performance has been improving in recent surveys. The broadcaster managed to build listeners after its record-low figure in the first survey of the year, only to fall again in the third survey. However, it has since lifted to an audience share of 7.1 per cent this survey period (up from 6.9 per cent). This comes as the ABC is undertaking a review of all capital city and regional stations.
Every ABC Melbourne time slot increased, except for its breakfast (5.30am to 9am) and morning (9am to noon) slots, which fell by 0.8 and 0.1 percentage points respectively. The drive slot (4pm to 7pm), which includes Melbourne Drive with Rafael Epstein, enjoyed the biggest boost, claiming an audience share of 6.7 per cent (up by 1.3 percentage points).
Conversely, the broadcaster’s breakfast slot – which is now helmed by comedians Sammy J from Monday to Thursday and Charlie Pickering on Friday – lost part of its previous gains, falling by 0.8 percentage points to 8.1 per cent. Its mornings slot, which includes Virginia Trioli’s show, dipped slightly from 7.6 per cent to 7.5 per cent. Survey timeslots do not always correlate precisely with program timeslots.