Panning for GOLD: CDs react to ARN’s four of a kind in Survey 3
Survey 3 is done and dusted, and Australian Radio Network emerged just short of a flush with the #1 FM station in four cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
WSFM beat out stablemates KIIS FM in a tight Sydney battle on 9.7% (+1.3). 97.3FM tied with Nova for the #1 spot in Brisbane with 14% (+0.1), Mix’s dominance in Adelaide continued despite a slip to 14.8% (-0.9).
“Melbourne is such a competitive market,” ARN’s Duncan Campbell tells Radio Today. “[GOLD] is a very strong radio station, with a million cume.
“We joked in the presentation that Christian [O’Connell] has been on the air two days and he’s the #2 Breakfast show in Melbourne.”
So how did ARN pull it off?
“People just want to hear music,” explains NOVA Entertainment’s Paul Jackson. “What they were getting was obviously satisfying them. A commendable number… they’ve done well.”
Jackson tells Radio Today he’s happy Nova’s overall performance in Melbourne. “Whenever there are changes going on I guess that creates talkability,” says Jackson.
“We’re up against it, and we’ve done pretty well.”
Christian O’Connell’s new Breakfast show began this week, and Campbell has high hopes for the show to achieve meaningful results as 2018 plays out.
“I get a sense there’s a real willingness to give this guy a go because he is something different.
“It’s a different proposition for Melbourne, but he has a very warm style on the air. He’s very charming in terms of his delivery, and a great storyteller. I don’t think the accent is an issue at all,” says Campbell.
“GOLD will have a very strong end of the year and future, as WS will have in Sydney.”
Nova’s Jackson agrees and sees the value in bringing someone like Christian to the network. “I think Christian is a top quality broadcaster with pedigree, he’s a great guy, a very good storyteller and a very different.
“Much like KIIS, there are different choices in the marketplace. That can’t be a bad thing.”
Although new KIIS Melbourne’s new Breakfast pairing hasn’t yet delivered the results ARN might have hoped for – they’re sitting at 5.5% this survey – Campbell remains positive that Jase and PJ can turn it around.
“That was a bold move, putting Jase and PJ into that Breakfast show but we will give that show the time it needs, and the audience the time they need to get to know that show.
“The content is consistently strong and it’s high quality and it’s a point of difference. I’m convinced that it’s going to work, it’s just a matter of time,” says Campbell.
“Sometimes the ratings just take a little bit of time to catch up.”
WSFM’s impressive results, rising back above stablemates KIIS 106.5, sees the station take its strongest position in the market since 1998.
KIIS Sydney Breakfast continues to deliver strong results too, with Kyle and Jackie O once again leaving Nova 96.9 and 2DayFM in their wake, despite another small rise for 2DayFM and its headline-making Breakfast team.
In a survey that saw ARN turnover ace after ace, Campbell is most pleased with the results in Sydney.
“I’m very happy with the dominance of the Sydney duopoly which has been strengthened today. I think we can expect even stronger results from WS as we go through the rest of the year. As for Kyle and Jackie O, for them to still be in double figures is a testament to that show and the content they create.”
2DayFM experienced its highest rating Breakfast show since Kyle and Jackie O, going to 4.9% (+0.5) and 5.6% overall (+0.4). That’s despite murmurs from various sources including Em Rusciano herself that she could be the latest to depart the proverbial revolving door that has been Breakfast at the station since 2014.
Jackson is a fan of Nights host Ash London, a presenter hotly tipped to be next in line for Breakfast if Em vacates the role, and believes she shouldn’t be pigeon-holed as a music jock.
“Ash London may have different ambitions, she’s a good broadcaster. Whether she’s a nights presenter or on Breakfast she’s certainly one of their strongest talents.”
Campbell tells us that if Rusciano had been working for ARN she would have already been let go in light of the comments she made in recent interviews.
“I just think it’s embarrassing,” says Campbell. “It’s not good for the industry. It says more about what’s going on behind the scenes at that radio station than anything else.”
2DayFM’s results have been achieved, at least in part, due to its new ‘More Music, More Variety’ music strategy that moves boldly away from the rest of the Hit Network’s CHR format.
Much debate has also surrounded 2Day’s current on-air sweeper directly attacking Nova and KIIS.
“You could argue that owning a variety position against the other CHR’s is something they could have a serious crack at, but they go and dilute it with these sweepers with fake listeners on the air saying ‘we’ve made a switch from Nova or from KIIS’,” says Campbell.
Jackson understands why SCA have felt the need to run the ad, but doesn’t agree with it.
“Competition is fierce and everyone’s got to do what they think is right for their product. It’s not something we would every do,” he says.
“I don’t think it’s the right tone to strike for the industry.
“They’ve put themselves in a position where they have a unique offering, but my view is that you should play to your own strengths and not to be criticising other people.”
Campbell is less offended by the ads, which makes sense given the strength of the cards he currently holds, but says he struggles to understand what their M.O. is.
“Talking about the switch sweepers on the air they’ve got… I don’t understand what they’re trying to do there. They need to concentrate on owning a position.
“Nova and KIIS are stronger than 2DayFM, so why am I switching across?
“You need to have momentum behind Breakfast before you attack two CHRs, for these campaigns to make any sense.”
Campbell also recalls the days of far more aggressive attacks against stations than the go-to switch campaigns we’re currently seeing in market, but believes 2DayFM need a greater point of difference.
Will 2Day continue to build their chip pile as the year goes on, or is it just a bluff?
Join us for all the results of Survey 4 on Tuesday July 10 to find out.