Grant Blackley reveals SCA’s plans for LiSTNR, including 35 new radio stations

Former Editor & Content Director

Southern Cross Austero’s (SCA) ambitious growth plans for its LiSTNR platform have been revealed by its CEO Grant Blackley, including hopes it will be taken up by 15 million Australians aged over 18.

In addition to the lofty usage plans, Blackley revealed the platform will launch 35 new music-based radio stations, taking the total to 50, before the end of 2021.

Speaking to media last night, Blackley also highlighted its looming plans for talent-based announcements.

He noted its recent recruitment of Steve Price for the streamed radio show Australia Today may have been unexpected for what is effectively an entertainment radio group, but is the first of many moves in a similar vein – “he is the first, he certainly won’t be the last, is all I’ll say”.

The next 18 months, he said, will see a raft of announcements from LiSTNR, all talent-led.

He also reiterated previous hints that he has aspirations for LiSTNR to go global, taking a subtle dig at Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) iHeartRadio arrangement in the process.

“We built this product. We built it and we own it. We’re not Yahoo7, we’re not iHeart. We own the code. We can adapt the code. We can change the code tomorrow if we choose to. So if we see a behaviour or a change that will benefit us, no different to what Amazon does every single week, we can change that, and we can then modify that,” he said.

“And we think that’s to our advantage. It’s also something we own and can export. So if we ever wish to go beyond our shores into other territories and launch this product elsewhere, there is the freedom to be able to do it because we own the code.”

Ultimately, he said, he wants LiSTNR to be the “ultimate audio destination in Australia”, noting “we think it’s our right and our obligation to occupy this space in Australia”.

“The numbers are going through the roof. Our ambition is nothing short of being the single best audio destination in Australia. We are all Australian at this point in time…. And we know that that will consume and entice a lot of Australians into it. And then selectively, we will look globally for partners that we think will actually round out the offering and the audio needs of every Australian,” he said.

“So we want to not only build out our Australian offering, but then bring select, premium international partnerships to bear, where we can actually create a platform to promote, market and monetise their content on the way through.”

To do this effectively, he had to make sure LiSTNR was ready from the get-go, with a flawless launch, he said.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the performance of LiSTNR to date… We didn’t want to have an Optus moment, where in actual fact, you buy the rights, you launch, you fail, you throw it up again, you fail again. So, we knew it was going to work, of course, but we had to prove it. And we proved it when we launched.”

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28 Apr 2021 - 1:35 pm

15 million I dont know 15 people who actually use it.

Ginger ninja
28 Apr 2021 - 2:52 pm

@paul – You’ve got to have 15 friends to know 15 people that use anything. #fact Did you really fill out the entire form to reply with that response. Alternatively I too, filled out the form to respond to you. However I am on a tram, too meet up with some mates at a bar. So I do thank you for allowing me to kill some time. Keep trolling industry websites brother, surely something will come your way.

Peter Johnson
28 Apr 2021 - 3:04 pm

I haven’t seen Grant Blackley this excited since he signed Rove to host breakfast

28 Apr 2021 - 3:25 pm


Count me as one I listener because listen to Steve Price New brekkie show between 7am & 10am

I reckon you should get out & meet more new people in Australia

28 Apr 2021 - 3:27 pm

Keep diluting their radio business by offering digital stations. Where are they planning to get advertisers from??

28 Apr 2021 - 3:42 pm

Does he know Yahoo7 hasn’t been a thing for more than 2 years?

28 Apr 2021 - 3:50 pm

Share price and market cap shocking again today.
Not sure having “the code” will help buddy.

28 Apr 2021 - 4:21 pm

Tell him he’s dreaming.
Maybe try and get listeners to your actual radio stations before you start trying to flog your streaming stations after paying big bucks to ‘talent’.

28 Apr 2021 - 4:30 pm

Who came up with “Listnr”? It such a terrible brand name

SCA might have reached their gender targets but nobody knows anything about radio

28 Apr 2021 - 4:46 pm

I kind of remember this gentleman touting DAB not too long ago (and practically dissing streaming).
Not sure he could articulate what owning the code actually means.. but sure. It’s cute he thinks he could license globally.
Have they released actual usage figures?

    28 Apr 2021 - 6:10 pm

    Hi Okuur,

    No. They have not, however the service has only been live for a couple of months.

    I have asked for some concrete figures and will share if / when I get them.

    Vivienne – Radio Today

28 Apr 2021 - 4:56 pm

sounds amazing !
Grant is indeed the Wizard of OZ.
I think he should be aiming for 150,000,000 Australians and 350 new stations by the end of next week.
then he’ll have time to fix 2day which is still broken 6 years after he arrived.

Source goes on everything
28 Apr 2021 - 5:21 pm

If the numbers are going through the roof, do you mind telling us what they are?

    28 Apr 2021 - 6:09 pm

    Hey there,

    FYI I have asked for some concrete numbers and will share them if / when I get them.

    Vivienne – Radio Today

28 Apr 2021 - 6:35 pm

Peter Johnson I always enjoy your insight into the radio business. You must be a very clever guy.

28 Apr 2021 - 6:36 pm

Cute how he compares it to Amazon; I think Amazon music at this point would have, and remain to have more active users!

29 Apr 2021 - 9:24 am

I hope as a shareholder – the costs are laid to bare by GB and the board around: promoting the failing Sydney breakfast Show (including Salaries) and the development of Listnr.. Oh – and by the way, pay back job keeper please?

29 Apr 2021 - 10:27 am

Well the strategy is certainly resonating on the ASX as of 28th April HT&E has a greater Market Capitalization than SXL – Spend more – generate less revenue – seems to be the strategy

29 Apr 2021 - 10:54 am

I don’t know anybody who has downloaded the app apart from Vivienne Kelly and she said on the podcast that she would probably delete it anyway

Reg Carmichael
29 Apr 2021 - 3:35 pm

They should bring back Dial A Hit..requests shows !!! i’m telling ya, its a goer

30 Apr 2021 - 5:45 pm

“We own the code” cringe, you know who else ‘owns the code’? Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music – and you’ve got LISTNR.

LOL, look out for the meteor SCA


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