Get data

Who is listening to community radio? New listener research coming mid-2016.

jbisset, 8th March 2016

In 2015, the CBAA undertook a tender process for the National Listener Survey. We are pleased to advise that this process is now complete and provide you with some further information about how the survey will be administered in 2016.

The National Listener Survey is a survey of the community radio listening habits of Australians. It provides invaluable feedback to stations about trends, listeners and the sector itself and can be used for service planning, reporting to funding bodies and pitching to potential sponsors.

After ten years, the Survey had evolved to maturity and the CBAA undertook a thorough and open tender process to ensure that listener research better meets that needs of stations, stakeholders and the sector as a whole. The tender process included working with highly regarded and experienced media/marketing/research professional Peter Cornelius, who in turn consulted a range of stations and sector stakeholders, and the invited several of Australia’s largest research organisations to tender.

From 2016, McNair Ingenuity Research will continue to deliver the National Listener Survey program. The new program will pair best learnings from the past with exciting new developments, including new reporting formats and more opportunities for stations to derive value. Key differences in the new program include:

  • Substantial cost reductions for stations, achieved by requiring three year sign-ups from participating stations.
  • The CBAA is now a central hub for the NLS, owning the data (instead of the research provider) and co-ordinating participation.
  • Greater transparency on research processes and outcomes
  • New reporting formats, with potential software reporting options being explored
  • More opportunities for stations to derive value through additional research offerings (including sentiment-based surveys)

The CBAA is also working with McNair Ingenuity Research to develop a template listener survey that stations can administer themselves. This DIY Survey will be designed to gather insight on listener preferences and habits, providing detailed information that stations can use to inform programming and planning.

If you would be interested in finding out more about how this program can work for your station, please contact our Policy and Research Adviser Joel Pringle.

Facebook comments



*Past webinar - click through to view webinar recording*
This session will instruct participants on how to read the results of the most recent National Listener Survey and translate this data into information that can be used to accurately describe their listenership to their community, the regulatory body and prospective sponsors.


In 2004 the first, national, statistically robust, quantitative assessment of the Australian community broadcasting sector’s audience reach was undertaken. Conducted by McNair Ingenuity, this research provided a major breakthrough in the wider shift to a more audience-centred approach to managing the sector. The findings, significance and implications of this research are considered here. Following recent developments in critical cultural policy studies, this paper locates this renewed concern for community broadcasting audiences within a ‘larger cycle of decision-making’ (O’Regan, Balnaves and Sternberg 2002: 2). The particular influence of developments such as the emerging spectrum market and the imminent transition to digital transmission systems is discussed. These developments are important to understanding why community broadcasting resistance to market-based conceptions of audience is being overcome, and how audience-centredness might be used to facilitate the continuing development of this ‘third’ sector of Australian broadcasting.


*Past webinar - click through to view webinar recording*

The Station Community Engagement Survey is a do-it-yourself, affordable audience research program for community radio stations.