As the ABC grapples with declining radio audiences across Australian capital cities and its youth station, Triple J, we'd love to hear which program you value most highly.
Information from our poll will be made available to ABC management, which has reportedly set up internal and external processes to determine what can be done to stop the continuing decline of its share of capital city radio audiences – particularly during breakfast programs.
The first GfK* radio ratings surveys for 2023 showed ABC 702’s share of the Sydney radio audience fell from 9.3 per cent to 5.9 per cent over the past year, while ABC Melbourne’s audience share dropped from 7.4 per cent to 5.8 per cent over the same period.
The surveys have also shown that the ABC’s cumulative audience - the number of listeners who tune in at least once a week – has fallen in all capital cities.
In Perth, the ABC’s audience share is trailing behind its competitors, with ABC Perth holding just under 5%, ABC Classic 2.1% and ABC News Radio 1.1%.
And it is becoming clearer that it is the ABC’s breakfast programs which are having the most impact on the falling audience share. The cumulative audiences for the 5.30am-9am breakfast time slots in both Sydney and Melbourne are continuing to drop, with Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas hosted breakfast program also shedding support since Fran Kelly’s retirement.
While audience share loss for Triple J was only relatively small, decreasing from 3.9 per cent to 3.7 per cent, the important 18-24 demographic shifted away to a larger extent – 4.6 percentage points.
According to Sydney Morning Herald media and telecommunications reporter, Zoe Samios, the ABC has hired external consultants and set up an internal advisory group, headed by ABC Head of Corporate Strategy, Jeremy Millar, to look at new ABC local radio strategies.
Samios said that she had been told that discussions will be held with radio managers, presenters, and employees across Australia during April and the group will also look at how the BBC and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are dealing with declining audiences. The review will be incorporated into the ABC’s updated five-year plan (it is unclear when this will be made public).
An ABC spokesman told Samios that the review of the decline in radio audiences was part of an update of the broadcaster’s five-year strategic plan.
“This work includes an analysis of all platforms, including local radio, as it did in the original ABC five-year plan,” the spokesman said. “The ABC will release the updated five-year plan in due course.”
*The GfK Radio Ratings is the official radio audience measurement service for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and the regional markets of Newcastle, Canberra and Gold Coast.
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