Craig Bruce: survey 3 a great story for Triple M
Earlier today, we heard from ARN's Duncan Campbell about survey 3.
Now, it's time to get the lowdown from Southern Cross Austereo's Head of Content Craig Bruce, who described the ratings results as 'a great story nationally for Triple M'.
Let's see what he has to say as we look at the figures around the country.
The 2DayFM, the results were mixed. The station went up half a point, but Jules Lund, Sophie Monk
Bruce explained how he read the results: “There are some really positive green shoots on 2DayFM with that 10 plus number up by half a point and the 25-39 number in pretty good shape – very good shape in terms of a good increase.”
“Drive is showing some really positive signs and obviously the breaky number was disappointing but the show doesn’t disappoint me in terms of what is coming out of the speakers.”
“That’s all I’m going on at the moment and it sounds better than the number it got.”
The story at Triple M was a 0.9 increase overall and solid gains across all dayparts.
Bruce said he thought the Grill Team had been unlucky in the first two surveys of the year and he was pleased they were now being rewarded for their hard work.
“Finally we’re starting to see the numbers come through."
“The Grillers have been together in that combination for a few years and the audience that use them absolutely love them,” he said. “They’re more than just a footy show.”
I asked him if he was surprised to see a drop in the KIIS audience and Bruce replied: “Not really.”
“We know survey one came out and Kyle took his audience but that number is always going to jump around a little. Whether that’s the sign of more to come – time will tell.”
In the Melbourne market, there are four… yes FOUR stations on the same share and that includes SCA’s Triple M which went up a smidge to 6.9 and FoxFM which went down slightly. (Nova and smoothfm are also on 6.9.)
“Melbourne is just a really tight market,” Bruce said. “Gold win it and then Mix win it in breakfast. Then you’ve got four other stations that could win it.”
He was pleased with the Triple M results and added: “That station has been in a good shape for a long time.”
But what about the Fox story?
Bruce said both Fox and Nova had been hit after giving up heritage breakfast shows at the end of last year.
“It’s always a difficult thing to do and I think that there’s still audience floating around making decisions as to who their new favourite breakfast show is going to be and hopefully some of them will land on Fox over time,” he said adding that internal research showed Fifi and Dave would see growth in their numbers.
“Towards the back end of the year I think you’ll see some really good numbers for Fox.”
When asked about the game plan for the station, Bruce said: “There are things you have to do when you’re a Top 40 radio station which the Fox has done very well over a long period of time and will continue to do.”
“Right at the moment, the short term focus is ‘how quickly can we take this breakfast show and all of the potential that it’s shown and get that consistently on the air?’.”
In survey three, B105 went up by the smallest of margins overall, 0.1. The station also had a gain of 1.5 in the 25-39 demo, but Labby, Stav and Abby dropped half a point.
Bruce said he saw it as a strong result for the station: “B105 is up for the third book in a row. We’ve got 25-39 growth. We’ve got a very strong drive position and a very good under 30 profile with Dan and Maz which we’re really excited about.”
Triple M’s growth, including a 0.8 rise for the Grill Team, had surprised and delighted Bruce.
“Triple M had some less than great momentum heading into survey three, so we weren’t sure what that book would look like in terms of what the legacy was into this survey, but it’s bounced back really quickly,” he said.
“We’re really positive about that breakfast show and we think it’s going to be a really strong show in the future for us.”
Just after Triple M was relaunched with a classic format, none of which was surveyed for the latest ratings, the station went up. Was it bittersweet I asked Bruce?
No way, he said: “Triple M was amazing. Most of its growth is with older-end men and that ties into the new music position.”
For SAFM, 'confused' might be the best way to describe how Bruce felt about their latest results.
“SAFM continues to be a real riddle for us,” he said. “It’s the best sounding seven share radio station in Australia.”
Bruce said he had confidence in Michael, Hayley and Burgo and the station would continue to look for ways to help the show connect with the Adelaide audience.
“It continues to be a terrific challenge for us,” he said.
In Perth, SCA continues to have the number one station in Mix94.5 and Bruce said it was a great station to run.
“We’ve got a really great local breakfast show,” he said of Clairsy, Shane and Kymba.
“It’s always difficult to transition from a number one show as Fred (Botica) was for so many years, but the new breakfast show on Mix is terrific.”
Bruce said he was pleased to see 92.9's Heidi, Will and Woody go up a point.
“They’ve worked really hard over the past couple of months to get out and about and get in front of as many listeners as possible,” he said.
“Just to see it move in the right direction always gives you that extra bit of confidence.”
I asked about the strategy for the 92.9 breaky show and Bruce was quick to point out: “It’s a young show, we just want to get the fundamentals right.”
“We’ve got plenty of time on our hands with these guys.”