LiSTNR has ‘no direct equal’: Grant Blackley
Southern Cross Austereo’s (SCA) LiSTNR platform is without equal in the local market, CEO Grant Blackley has claimed.
Blackley’s comments come six months after the audio platform was released to market.
Since its launch, on February 18, Blackley has repositioned and restructured SCA so LiSTNR sits at the ‘centre’ of the business and becomes the main driver of its content, audience acquisition and marketing efforts.
According to Blackley, LiSTNR’s ever-growing delivery of new content, combined with its scale, gravitas and momentum, puts it well in front of the market.
It is, with the exception of perhaps BBC Sounds in the UK, without an equal, Blackley said.
“It’s certainly maturing very quickly. We couldn’t be more delighted with LiSTNR on a range of levels,” he added.
“So it was a product that we envisioned, we nurtured, we’ve built, the baby’s up and running around at six months, and we’re hopeful that it starts to run even harder moving forward.”
This growth, he said, is being driven by its technological capabilities and its content offering.
“The first thing I’d say is the principle priority was to ensure we had a technology platform and posture that fundamentally delivered what we needed,” he said.
“The second thing would be, we have delivered on the 17th of February a very stable platform, which, on a week-by-week basis, we are fundamentally improving and developing to ensure that we actually meet the response and feedback from our consumers as much as we do from the innovation that we’d like to see.
“The consumption is going up dramatically. We started off with effectively a podcast-led consumer interaction, and now what we’re seeing is they’re moving into the house of LiSTNR, and fundamentally they’re spending as much time on our radio product and our linear product, one would argue, as they do within our podcast environment.
“And in the house of LiSTNR, of course, we’ve brought music stations with playlists, we’ve brought more news and more information, led from Steve Price on Australia Today, through all of our news products.”
LiSTNR, he said, had transformed the business, giving investors a very different business from the SCA of old.
SCA is now truly digitally focused, he said.
“It’s a high-value segment. It’s a growing marketplace. It’s accelerating in terms of consumer consumption as much as it is meeting the demand of advertisers for more data and insights at a very granular level,” he said.
“So we’re playing to both consumer appeal as much to the advertiser demand, and therefore, that’s why we’re confident in saying the growth that we’ve already achieved will go up by a further 75 to 100% over the course of the next 12 months, which is starting to become quite material to the business, and that’s our strategy and our responsibility in fact to our shareholders and to the Board and we take that all very seriously.
“So think of this as a digital-first audio strategy that has to be ingrained across 65 offices, a couple of thousand people and enacted day-in, day-out as an operating mantra that we adopt. And that is very different than the one-to-many linear model that has served the company extremely well in the past.”