Media Releases

RNZ audience numbers up at end of 2022

Released at 1:59 pm on 2 December 2022

RNZ has had a dual focus throughout 2022 – continuing to deliver trusted, independent journalism, current affairs and entertainment content for all the people of Aotearoa and preparing for the future as part of the new Aotearoa New Zealand Public Media entity.

RNZ leaders, as well as members of the team at all levels of the organisation, have engaged with colleagues at TVNZ, as well as with the ANZPM establishment board and establishment unit to lay the groundwork for a smooth transition into the new entity from 1 March 2023.

As RNZ’s Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief Paul Thompson outlined in his speech to the Public Broadcasters International Conference in Tokyo last month, the new entity will be public media designed for the digital age and pioneer a new way of thinking. A distinguishing feature of the new entity will be enhanced obligations to tangata whenua - Māori stories, perspectives and influences will be woven into the fabric of ANZPM. Thompson told the conference that a second defining feature will involve active collaboration with the wider media sector to ensure the whole media ecosystem is sustainable, cohesive, and providing great service to all New Zealanders.

The creation of the new public media entity is a once-in-a-generation opportunity driven by the changing behaviour of audience and challenging business models.  It comes as the media sector experiences great disruption; where global social media platforms are ascendant and commercial models are weakening. Now is the time to provide New Zealanders with a strong public media service that is well resourced to weather the toughest of storms, to connect, inform and unite the people of Aotearoa. It will stand to be the source of truth and trust with the best of RNZ values and services at its heart.

2022 also marked a third year of the Covid-19 pandemic and the final quarter of the year saw RNZ move from Covid-19 ‘resilience mode’ into a more regular news cycle with a welcome return to full strength teams. The build-up and results for the recent local body elections saw our reporters across the regions play an important role in the wider democratic process. Coverage was boosted by the Local Democracy Reporting (LDR) programme, a partnership between RNZ, the News Publishers’ Association and NZ On Air.

It's pleasing to see an increase in both RNZ National and digital audience numbers survey on survey.

RNZ’s regular radio programming continues until Christmas Eve. Summer programming will include Morning Report hosted by Charlotte Cook and Summer Times with Anna Thomas from 9am-midday both from 4 January. Matinee Idle will run for two weeks of weekday afternoons from Boxing Day, followed by a music show presented by Kara Rickard and Mark Williams from 9 January and the return of Afternoons, hosted by Wallace Chapman from 16 January.

Paul Thompson says that audiences can expect to hear all the key news and information across RNZ’s radio and digital platforms throughout the holiday period, combined with a host of lighter stories and interviews to inform and entertain through the summer break.

“News doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas-time, but we do want to make sure our hard-working team gets the chance to take a break and recharge after what’s been a challenging and rewarding year – especially as we gear up for a big 2023.”

Regular programming for RNZ National returns on 23 January, with the new Morning Report host to join Corin Dann expected to be announced soon. RNZ Concert’s refreshed programme line-up will debut on 23 January.

RNZ will broadcast live on Waitangi Weekend at the Treaty Grounds with Māpuna with Julian Wilcox on location at midday on Saturday 4 February and a four-hour show from 8am on Waitangi Day. Māpuna will also broadcast a live extended programme from Te Matatini at Eden Park on Saturday 25 February from midday-3pm.


Key results

Digital results
Website traffic grows in October

  • added 75,000 unique audience members (15+) in October 2022 to reach a unique audience of 982,000 according to the latest Neilsen figures, an 8% increase from September.

Usage of RNZ app remains popular  

  • On average, the RNZ app had 147,300 users each month between September and November.

Audio streams

  • RNZ audio content was streamed on 945,000 times from September to November.

Podcast downloads

  • From September to November downloads of audio content from (including podcasts) reached 3.97 million, with an additional 4.78 million downloads from third-party platforms (including Spotify, Apple podcasts and other podcast platforms).  

Radio results
RNZ National grows audience in a tough radio market

  • RNZ's radio audience has increased compared with the previous survey, and audience share has increased slightly from 14.5% to 14.6%.
  • RNZ National’s audience grew to 572,000 in a typical week, an increase of 9,000. This is up 1.7% survey on survey, but down 8.7% on the same survey in 2021.
  • In a typical week, 200,400 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ Concert, down from 210,700 (-4.9%) in the last survey and also lower down from the previous year
  • In a typical week, 678,000 New Zealanders aged 10+ listen to RNZ National and RNZ Concert, up from 675,000 (+0.4% percent from the previous survey and 7.3% lower compared to the same time last year).
  • The number of listeners to all radio across Aotearoa declined to 3,640,200 from 3,663,500 listeners, -0.6% per cent compared with the last survey and -1.1% on the same survey last year.


  • RNZ podcasts have received 23 nominations at the NZ Podcast Awards - the winners will be announced on 12 December.