Commercial radio listening up 7.1% in GfK e-diary metro survey

Former Assistant Editor

Weekly metro listening to commercial radio has risen by 7.1% over the past four weeks, according to a GfK Radio Pulse e-survey released by Commercial Radio Australia

The survey showed that weekly listening rose by 786,000 people across the five metro markets, when compared with the most recent full GfK Survey 2 for 2020. Listening has risen to nearly 12 million sets of ears over the four week reporting period for the survey.

82.4% of Australians were reached by commercial radio in that period, up from 76.9%. The average across 2019 was 77.3%, with Commercial Radio Australia pointing to an easing of coronavirus restrictions country-wide as a contributing factor.

The Radio Pulse e-survey was commissioned by Commercial Radio Australia to provide insights into listening while traditional surveys remain on hold.

It involved a sample of 2,240 participants recording their radio listening for each quarter-hour via an e-diary, a significantly smaller sample size compared with traditional surveys.

“Listener numbers increased throughout the day, with breakfast up 1.5%, drive up 5.5% and the afternoon daypart (midday to 4pm) attracting an average weekly audience of nearly 8 million people – the kind of figures usually reserved for breakfast,” said CRA chief executive Joan Warner.

Working from home definitely appears to be a significant factor in increased daytime listening. There was also an increase in weekend listening, rising 17% since Survey 2.

“Listening at home continues to be well above trend,” added Warner. “Nearly 65% of people listened at home each week and 59% listened in the car.”

Looking at individual metro cities, Sydney’s cume was up 343,000, Melbourne rose 175,000, while there were increases in Brisbane (+77,000), Adelaide (+71,000) and Perth (+120,000).


92% of 10-17 year-olds tuned in each week, plus 78% of 18-24’s, 81% of 25-39’s, 84% of 40-54’s, 84% of 55-64’s and 79% of those aged 65 and over.

The Radio Pulse survey ran from May 17 to June 13, beginning just days after people in Victoria, NSW and Qld were allowed to leave their homes again.

Traditional GfK radio surveys, which are split 70% paper diary and 30% e-diary, will resume for Survey 6 (July 26 to September 19) with a release date of September 29.

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24 Jun 2020 - 5:06 pm

Recall how just about all political surveys in the run-up to the last election were hopelessly inaccurate?

Additionally, call me a cynic, but when a survey is commissioned by “….Commercial Radio Australia to provide insights into listening while traditional surveys remain on hold…” one does sort of go, ‘Ho Hum’..

I’ve never been surveyed in around 40 years of radio listening. But if they had knocked on my door/phoned me for this one, I would gently explain that these days I listen to about a quarter of the radio that I used to – and a lot of that is a Community radio station where I get a useful update on print news that I would otherwise miss.

And if they asked why I don’t listen I would say that, whilst I appreciate that commercial radio does have to sell stuff to exist, the bombardment of ads these days is over the top. Moreover, they’re the same old, boring ads time after time and I’ve switched off more in despair than anger.

So, even though I dislike the ABC I find myself listening to ‘Conversations’ and the Science show and others plus classic FM whilst driving (helps with road rage). Even the Man in Black at 4pm can be interesting – not least to find out what the enemy is up to..

So CRA, you’ve lost me but as I wasn’t in your survey you won’t give a hoot.

25 Jun 2020 - 10:08 am

I now listen almost exclusively to overseas stations – BBC Radio 2, various music stations from the UK and US – because the local stations simply do not appeal to me. I live in Brisbane, a city of 2.5 million people, and yet only have access to FOUR commercial FM stations!!! There is simply not enough commercial radio choice in my city, so I listen to overseas stations.

Scott Thomson
25 Jun 2020 - 11:01 am

The most ridiculous thing I heard throughout the pandemic is that is was not safe for people to fill out ratings diaries and that the surveys will have to be suspended.

This decision denied Alan Jones the opportunity for a record breaking result on breakfast as he departed

We still have no idea how well Ben Fordham is doing or how badly 2Day Fm are rating at the moment? Absolute incompetence from GfK

25 Jun 2020 - 9:25 pm

Hey Scott!

“……his decision denied Alan Jones the opportunity for a record breaking result on breakfast as he departed..”

Poor old Alan, he must be totally devastated as he slips comfortably into his next highly paid gig, after deciding against working for..sorry ‘with’ new 2 GB management ( never mind all those expensive law suits.. “Oh, MUST you leave? How sad. OK sign here..”)

And tell me Scott, against who were these ‘ record breaking results’?

The talk-back lefties on ABC?

Music stations for (mostly) kids?

Community Radio? (and if they presented effectively and got over this “Oh, I’m on air.. it’s me mum! I musht speak proper”- even they might be a challenge.)

Who else?

It’s a joke. Since 2GB bought out the only opposition and knackered it, there’s been no competition on talk back radio.

You’d need a thick hide to accept “yet another record breaking & amazing ratings win” under these circumstances.

Yet I understand thick hides are a dime a dozen down around the fish markets.


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