When Leon Wratt, Mediaworks programming director, was asked to pick his standout station when the first radio results of this year were released, it was Mai FM that got his nod. And when looking at the numbers and its growth of 33,100 listeners, it’s hard to deny the station our pick for hottest radio brand. While the ascendancy of hip hop and RNB has been ongoing since the 1990s, its dominance of the mainstream music discourse has burgeoned in the last decade. The country’s top 40 charts currently boast the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Future, Jason Derulo and Drake, and the recent sell-out shows for Bruno Mars’ New Zealand tour have helped revitalise the genre’s underwhelming live scene. Broader sections of the population are tuning into stations like Mai FM and Flava to get their musical fix, but with Flava boasting a weekly audience of just 191,500 compared to Mai’s 386,800, Mai FM has managed to strike a chord between entertainment and music that Flava has not.
Although lower than The Edge’s weekly audience of 662,300, pop’s wide-ranging remit (and steady co-opting of genres like hip hop) means the station still reigns supreme. But Mai FM gets the nod from us for being Auckland’s number one music station and due to its growth across all age groups. Off air, the station boasts more than 26,000 Facebook followers, 31,000 Instagram followers and 18,200 Twitter followers who are keen to keep up with local hip hop and RNB goings on.
Like Mai FM, Radio Hauraki saw growth across all demographics to reach an overall weekly audience of 218,400. But while Hauraki puts up a valiant fight during rock’s transition period its competitor, The Rock, saw a loss in its audience numbers to reach 428,500 listeners.