Hot Tomato PD on their Survey 3 result

After today's Survey 3 result for the Gold Coast, I caught up with Program Director of Hot Tomato, David Rymer :-

Mark: With Hot Tomato being the only station of the top 3 to increase share (up 1.1 to 13.4%), you’d be happy with that result ?

David: Yes we are very happy. We have worked hard on the product and there are early signs it has been well received by our listeners.

Mark: How have you managed to close that gap to Sea FM and Gold FM ?

David: We have made some robust changes to breakfast, the music and strategically moved to a stronger position in the market. If that has vicariously closed the gap, that’s great. But the market is tight and really competitive now. But we are in the early stages of evolving our product so some of these changes maybe impacting positively and helping close the gap at this early stage. That’s pretty pleasing.

Mark: With increases in all under 40 demo's; 10-17's up 3.3, 18-24's up 3.5, 25-39's up 4.4, is the 25-39 lift the most encouraging for you ?

David: Couldn’t be more delighted with our 25 to 39 figure. Sitting at number 2 in that demo with 4.4 jump is really pleasing. Also being Number 1 25 to 54 Monday to Sunday is back to where we have been for some time so that’s really good for business.

Mark: The workday on Hot Tomato saw the strongest improvement with mornings up 1.9 (3rd to 2nd), and arvos up 1.0 (3rd to 2nd). What has been happening there to see this result ?

David: We have focused very heavily on the music and tightened things right up. We had become very broad and that had served us well. So given the improved breakfast lead in, a more focused workday and some really strong tactical execution, that has helped enormously. This has given us a strong platform for all our plans in 2014.

Mark: Cume at mornings saw an increase of 9,100 while previous #1 cume in mornings was Gold FM who dropped 10,800. Hot Tomato now has higher cume in mornings than anyone else. Were there any particular tactics introduced to help with the breakfast-workday changeover ?

David: A more focused music feature at nine and the bounce in from Breakfast has helped I think. To be honest, this book has seen a healthy correction to our normally strong workday numbers.

Mark: Flan and Emily Jade (above) have only been on-air since August, were you expecting to see them go up in their first survey ? What have they been doing to help see that rise ?

David: We moved boldly mid survey focusing the product and having it in the strongest position for the start of 2014. There was lots of noise in the market place around our changes and that could have contributed to the curiosity factor for us. But Flan and Emily Jade with Christo as the anchor have surprised us at how quickly the show has come together sonically. We have all worked hard to get it to where it is. It has huge growth potential and we will be working hard to realise that in 2014. It is also great to see a strong Drive result with the Mal and Luke Show (below) in what is a highly competitive space. They are a great show!

Mark: It’s an extremely close race at night on the Gold Coast, with 0.7 covering the top 4. Hot Tomato had the largest increase there, anything different going on at night ? What makes triple j so strong in that daypart ?

David: It’s a true 4 horse race at night with nothing in it. As we know JJJ has been growing strongly around the country and that’s great. To be honest our focus has not been on nights and we have done nothing different in there. It was just a great bounce back for us. As for JJJ, I can only put it down to nothing other than they are a strong alternative to the commercial stations and the available younger demos.

Mark: With cumes you had an increase 10+ of 5,600 and now have the 2nd highest cume on the Gold Coast behind Sea FM (Gold lost 11,100 and Sea FM lost 10,500). Has any external marketing occurred to achieve that lift ?

David: We did not do anything more extraordinary from a marketing point of view than we normally do in survey periods. We did bolster our online presence and hone our skills with social media to complete our offering as a truly local multimedia force in the market with our online portal.

Mark: Do you think Hot Tomato are in a position to topple Sea FM and Gold FM in 2014 ?

David: Of course. But they are really strong stations with great on and off air teams. We will give it a crack. But as long as we can perform well in priority demos we will be happy.


See the results and analysis.

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