The AUT Research Centre For Journalism, Media and Democracy has just released its annual JMAD Media Ownership Report! This annual report gives an overview of the media landscape in New Zealand.
RNZ is doing well on listenership and audience reach.
The combined audience reach of RNZ National and RNZ Concert shows an increase in three consecutive surveys … The latest survey results show that RNZ reaches over 700,000 New Zealanders aged 10+ every week. RNZ National accounts for 633, 500 listeners, and has a 12% share of the total radio audience in New Zealand. (JMAD, 47)
The JMAD report was written before the final GFK Total New Zealand Radio Survey came out. According to RNZ’s press release, they have had a “strong twelve months” with “an increase of 34,300 year-on-year.” Indeed, the numbers have grown in this final survey with 679,500 New Zealanders which is 16% of the 10+ population listening to RNZ every week!
And the numbers just keep getting better for RNZ!
Among all radio listening in New Zealand, RNZ National has a market share of 12.1% and a cumulative audience of 603,800 listeners, an increase of 17,100 compared to the equivalent survey last year. … RNZ Concert is also up compared to 2017 with a weekly cumulative audience of 173,200 people or 4.1% of the 10-plus population. This is an increase of 27,400 year-on-year for the network.(RNZ press release 6/12/18)
Morning Report is still very popular with its 12,100 year-on-year audience increases and its 457,800 listeners! This is a 15.4% market share of the total radio listening audience for that time slot! Whoop, whoop!
RNZ Head of Radio and Music, David Allan, said that “… the strong performances by RNZ programmes over the past twelve months … provide a great platform for new RNZ National programming to be introduced in 2019.” (RNZ press release) One of their proposed new shows is a new 5 AM news and current affairs show! It starts next year!
Their digital numbers are good too! “More than 608,000 users accessed the RNZ website during a typical week, and more than 203,000 video streams took place on RNZ platforms.”
Some of their audience increases are due to their increasing number of collaborative partnerships with other media organisations. They now have 25 content partnerships! The partnership organisations include Stuff, TVNZ and The Spinoff. Partnership deals can be a double-edged sword, especially for a public service broadcaster such as RNZ, if it is carrying content from commercial media outlets.
RNZ has had years of inadequate funding! During the 2017 election campaign, Labour proposed to spend $38 million on RNZ and NZ On Air and also to give RNZ its own free to air public service television channel. What RNZ received after the 2018 Budget was $4.5 million with an additional $6 million for the Innovation Fund which funds joint content creation projects between RNZ and other media outlets. Its purpose is “to drive more public media content for under-served audiences such as Māori and Pacific Peoples, children and regional New Zealand.” (Ministry of Culture and Heritage, 2018). The increase in funding has enabled RNZ to continue to expand its range of multimedia content. As there was not enough money for RNZ to create its own TV channel and a lack of desire to do so from its CEO, Paul Thompson, that plan never went ahead. (JMAD, 67)
Finally, to end on a bright note, Paul Thompson said of John Campbell leaving RNZ that Campbell “would leave a legacy of high-quality, innovative journalism and improved audience engagement.” (JMAD, 48) He sure did!