In an extraordinary penultimate survey of the year, Triple M has cemented its position as the new giant of Adelaide radio, turning a slim lead into a shellacking of all rivals.
The station’s breakfast team of Mark Ricciuto, Chris Dittmar and Laura O’Callaghan drove the performance, increasing their share by a stunning 4.7 percentage points. This takes Triple M’s share of breakfast listeners to 16.9 per cent – a figure not seen since ABC Radio Adelaide’s now long-ago dominance in the shift.
Their nearest rivals are FIVEaa’s Will Goodings and David Penberthy, who lost share to sit on a distant 10.9 per cent.
ABC Radio Adelaide, with Stacey Lee and Nikolai Beilharz, also sunk slightly but still sits in third place on 10.1.
Competitive breakfast shifts were the only consolation for both talk stations, with FIVEaa and ABC Radio Adelaide both stuck firmly at the bottom of the overall table as the year comes to a close.
Triple M’s juggernaut also stripped paint from FM rivals, with the station dominating across the morning, afternoon and drive shifts, and also leading the way on weekends.
The only local station not to lose ground was one-time ratings winner Mix 102.3, which increased its share slightly to hold clear second place (its high-profile breakfast program led by Ali Clarke held its own to improve its standing to fourth place in the shift).
A sinking Nova is in a distant third place overall, followed by Cruise and SAFM on level pegging, with FIVEaa and then ABC Radio Adelaide rounding out the list of local stations.
In mornings, Triple M put on a huge 3.1 percentage point surge to extend its lead over Mix. The story was similar in afternoons, but the 3.3 percentage point increase was enough for the rock station to leapfrog the previous leader Mix.
In drive, Nova lost out to Triple M, which again put on a huge increase in listener share – 2.7 percentage points.
In evenings, FIVEaa retained its strong lead despite losing ground.
Triple M’s showing was powered by older demographics: it put on huge share in the 55-64 age group to take the lead for these listeners and also had a strong showing in people aged over 65 – not a traditional area of strength for the station. It is the clear leader among people aged 40-54, and also performs solidly with younger age groups.
The talk stations, by contrast, only perform well in the oldest age brackets.
FIVEaa is in second place for over 65s and remains competitive in the 55-64 age group, but has few listeners under that age.
The ABC leads among over 65s, but is nowhere near competitive in any other age group. With people aged 55-64, its next best age group, it is in fifth place. It barely registers in younger demographics.
The survey released today covered the end of the AFL season and the month following, so it’s possible the finals gave Triple M a bump. However, football also features heavily on FIVEaa and, to a lesser extent the ABC, and both stations lost ground.
It seems more likely that Adelaide radio listeners are following broader audience trends away from hard news and current affairs content; Triple M’s consistent line-up and disciplined music programming are working well in this new media world.
The final ratings for the year will be released in December, with several stations looking closely at their line-ups for 2024.
Apart from any ratings concerns, the ABC will have to rethink its on-air talent with veteran Peter Goers retiring at the end of the year.
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