‘More people listen to triple j now than at any point in the station’s history’

Post survey 1 I caught up with triple j Manager Chris Scaddan (pictured) to talk about the results in what was a good day for the network.

Mark: Firstly, congratulations on a strong start to the survey year for triple j. Up in every market, with the biggest increases coming in Sydney and Adelaide.

Commercial radio tend to believe any rise for triple j in survey 1 is Hottest 100 related. With all markets up strongly on weekends – especially with 2JJJ #2 FM (WSFM only FM station in front of you) – is their assumption correct or are other factors at play ?

Chris: We agree the Hottest 100 definitely plays a big part in our first survey each year – it’s the biggest event on the radio calendar and we’ve had our best voting numbers ever – but it’s more than that.

Don’t forget that this survey now also incorporates November from the year prior, so it’s also a testament to our regular programming. November is ‘Ausmusic Month’ for triple j, so it’s pleasing to see that the audience responds to our long-held support for Australian music. And all summer we’ve run a Road Trip Relay campaign asking listeners to submit their time lapse videos of their road trips around the country. It’s a project with ABC Open and the response was quite extraordinary (see our story here).

So there’s a lot of talk about triple j and people are really getting into what we’re doing everywhere at the moment. As with most year’s though, we’d expect these good survey 1 figures to balance out a bit as the year goes on.

Mark: Sydney was the big winner for triple j – #1 18-24, #2 25-39, where does that leave you 18-39 ?

Chris: We’re number 2 in 18-39, but to be honest, we rarely analyse it that way. We’re focussed on 18-24 year olds and narrow in on results in that demographic.

We love that we’ve got a strong audience older than that and they’re very important to our overall figures. We know that older fans come back to us over summer and for the Hottest 100. But every decision we make is based around what works for 18-24.

Mark: 2JJJ is also very competitive in the workday numbers and you had solid lifts in both mornings and arvos. Anything different going on there to deliver those results ?

Chris: Nothing too different. We work very hard on the music mix in those timeslots and we’ve always done that. We’re keeping it more diverse, more Australian and more interesting than the other networks.

Mark: Sydney’s cume increases would also have been pleasing to see ?

Chris: Yep, cumes are great. All up this survey, we’ve achieved a 5 city average weekly reach of 1.784 million listeners. That’s a triple j record. There are more people listening to triple j now than at any point in the station’s history.

Mark: triple J is also #1 25-39 in Adelaide, =#2 25-39 in Melbourne and a significant lead as #1 with 18-39’s in Perth. A great round of results in those markets.

Chris: We always do very well in Perth and appreciate the strong listenership we have in the West. Melbourne and Adelaide fluctuate and are a bit harder to manage for a national network. As mentioned above, we know that the older end of our audience do listen more to us over summer and around the Hottest 100. So we’ll see how it plays out across the year.

Mark: How much do you guys celebrate survey results ? Is it something all the staff look closely at or do you approach the numbers differently to commercial radio ?

Chris: We’re really happy. We’ll have a drink or two because we’ve broken those audience records. But we treat the ratings as just one way we judge our audience. It’s an important way, but we only see figures 8 times throughout the year (plus regional surveys). We pay more attention to the way the audience engages with us daily online, on the air through SMS and talkback and through our live events like the upcoming One Night Stand.

We’ve got just under 600,000 Facebook fans – no other network comes close to that. Our Youtube videos clock up hundreds of thousands of views. We get thousands of text messages every day. We piece it all together to get a realistic view of how our audience is going.

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