Ciaran Davis on what the radio ratings pause means for ARN
As the radio ratings prepare to self-isolate, Australian Radio Network has joined Nine in support of the decision by Commercial Radio Australia and GfK to suspend survey collections.
Survey 2 results will be released as scheduled on April 16, but Surveys 3, 4 and 5 are on ice due to travel and mass gatherings restrictions related to COVID-19.
ARN chief executive officer, Ciaran Davis, says safety comes first. But the reality is, its agency and client partners rely on the collected data to help determine spends.
When you have the biggest breakfast show in the biggest market, that’s a problem.
“ARN is supportive of the CRA’s decision – safety is the most important thing here and it’s not practical or safe for GfK to carry out the fieldwork at this time,” said Davis in a statement shared with Radio Today.
“CRA will continue to provide information on radio listening across this period, with studies already underway and others being investigated.
“Obviously the more data that’s collected and shared, the better, and we’re pleased with the proactive approach that’s being taken.
“Equally, we’ll continue to collect our own data and will be sharing it with the market in real-time, which we’re in a unique position to do so thanks to our investment in iHeartRadio.”
The CEO, along with the board and senior executives, will take a 20% pay cut to help the HT&E-owned media business weather the COVID-19 storm with listenership up and revenue down.
Media consumption and demand for audio content has increased during the pandemic.
“What’s obvious is that radio is strengthening across this period as audiences seek community, news and entertainment. ARN has already recorded significant growth – when comparing data from February to March,” said Davis.
ARN says iHeartRadio Australia has experienced a 31% increase in registrations and a 26% increase in new users when comparing data from February to March.
Listeners are also engaging more, with a 5% increase in TSL to ARN stations across the KIIS, Pure Gold and The Edge networks and a 38% rise in podcast TSL.
According to data shared with Radio Today, website users are up 63% with pageviews up by almost 50% across KIIS, Pure Gold and The Edge sites.
It’s a similar story on social media too, with Facebook video views jumping by 90% and the number of Facebook users by 55%.
“With the additional data to come over the coming months, both via the CRA and our own channels, we’re confident that despite the challenging and dynamic conditions, the resilience, flexibility and immediacy of radio will give us a distinct advantage to best serve our clients and audiences.”