We love to help motivated business leaders connect with their audiences in meaningful ways. But one thing we’ve noticed over the last few years is that the location of those people is constantly changing. Where have all these people gone? They’re out there, but finding them is becoming increasingly tricky. Here is a helicopter-view of where your audiences are spending their time and money.

With New Zealand internet access up around 93%, 6.4 million mobile phone connections and 3.64 million social media users, there has never been a better time to connect with your customers on digital platforms.

What Ad-world can teach us

The 2019 NZ Advertising Industry Revenue Report released in May 2020, shows the media channels that advertisers believe Kiwis are giving their attention to, and where the changes are happening. Advertisers spent a whopping $2.7 billion in 2019 and just over a billion of that was spent on ‘digital only’ advertising. Only $538 million was spent on TV advertising. Spending on digital advertising continues to rise while the traditional channels of TV and print (magazines and newspapers) advertising are in decline.

A more interesting piece of research that came out last year was NZ On Air’s ‘Where Are The Audiences?’ Some findings are

  • Free to Air channels are still popular (one in six New Zealanders per day), but they aren’t growing. TVNZ On Demand is becoming more popular, now reaching one in five New Zealanders daily.
  • The most popular site, station or channel is YouTube, just beating TVNZ 1.
  • Most print (magazines and newspapers) are seeing declining print subscribers, but increasing interest in digital offering.
  • Most radio stations are experiencing declining audience numbers but more Kiwis, 44%, listen to streaming daily.
  • Online gaming has 36% daily reach overall, but 53% in the 15-24 age group.

Social media

Social media continues to dominate our screens. According to 2019 research, 3.6 million Kiwis are active social media users, spending an average 1 hour and 53 minutes on social media networks every day. Facebook continues to dominate social media in New Zealand with 73 percent of the population saying they are on the platform. Instagram has been on a growth path for the past few years. Pinterest is a strong contender. LinkedIn for business has good use in New Zealand and Twitter to a lesser extent.


Stuff is the clear leader when it comes to our favourite digital news source. According to Roy Morgan Research, the total digital audience for Stuff in an average 7 days is over 1.8 million New Zealanders, well ahead of main rival the nzherald.co.nz on 1.55 million.


Checking emails is a daily ritual for most of us; our inbox continues to be one of our most favourite places to spend time.

Google Search

93% of Kiwis use Google. It’s the first place most of us go to search the web, so it is a vital place to be noticed e.g. SEO and Google Ads.

There are new channels to keep an eye on, like TikTok, Spotify ads, plus a proliferation of out-of-home screens and more innovation to come. Keep open to learning and change because what works today may be gone tomorrow.

So What?

Our challenge with all this is to create meaningful communication that is appropriate to the channel(s) we are engaging with. The last thing you want to is to sound or look like an advertisement. Find your happy place and get connected, so you can keep in touch with the people that matter to you.