Triple J losing listeners to commercial radio, go figure

12 August 2022

Government funded, alternative music Australian radio station, Triple J has been losing listeners for sometime among their target demographic of 18 to 24 year olds, but recent surveys show the decline has picked up pace, as Tim Burrows at Unmade writes:

However, the fall for average listening to Triple J is much worse. Now, a much bigger proportion of that young listening audience is choosing commercial radio. In 2014, there were an average of 22,000 members of Triple J’s target audience listening at any given time. In the most recent survey in 2022, that had fallen to 10,000 – a fall of 55%.

What puzzles me is the migration to commercial radio though. Listeners haven’t gone to TikTok to discover and listen to music — at least not all of them — instead they’re tuning into commercial radio stations. Surely the ads that choke commercial radio broadcasts don’t have some sort of hitherto unrealised appeal to Generation Z?

I’m somewhat outside Triple J’s target audience, but one reason I still tune in (stream in) is precisely because there are no cheesy commercial jingles. There are ads of sorts on Triple J, but usually for other shows, and music related events and happenings. Certainly not the kind you encounter on commercial channels though.

And surely 18 to 24 year olds aren’t being turned off by Triple J’s focus on new Australian music? Interestingly, radio listenership in general is down some seventeen percent among those aged 18 to 24, so while the jays are losing audience share, they’re not the only ones.


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