Nine Radio’s Tom Malone on Survey 3: “The future of streaming is talk”

Nine Entertainment Radio

Nine Radio General Manager Tom Malone is heartened by what he sees in the results from Metro Survey 3.

It’s the first survey period in which radio stations were assessed against the Radio 360 system, which includes public streaming audience data.

In an interview with Peter Saxon for our sister publication RadioInfo, Malone says the new system delivers a total radio view.

“We’re seeing the strength of audiences for talk radio in the streaming environment surging as people move from a linear to a streaming environment.”

“I suppose for 4 or 5 years we’ve been tracking our own digital audiences, but certainly for the last 18 months we’ve been providing those streams to GfK so they could start pulling together a fully integrated Radio 360 data measurement set that could then be verified and published under the Gold standard.”

Malone says now, as an industry, we can start talking about verified streaming numbers as well.

“I think GfK and the CRA as an industry have done a great job because we’ve known that we needed to update our measurement system.”

“I think all the parties have cooperated terrifically well to get to this point.”

Over at ARN, Chief Content Officer Duncan Campbell observes “We know that streaming is in its growth phase.”

“I mean, it’s growing and it has been growing over time. It’s still around about 20% people. ”

“So (in terms of the numbers) it’s good to have it broken out and to be able to see it.”

Malone says it’s about further proving the utility of radio from an audience point of view and the efficiency and the effectiveness of it from a commercial point of view.

“We know all of those things about it, but we needed an updated measurement system to then go and prove that to the market. And that’s what’s been delivered.”

“The data set includes diaries and the tagging of our streams from both websites, apps and smart speakers.”

“It also includes the passive panel, which are the watchers. And that gives you a total view of what the audience is.”

Malone describes Ben Fordham’s numbers in Sydney Breakfast as amazing, and says the same goes for Ross and Russ in Melbourne Breakfast.

“We’re really excited about (this survey) because it certainly says that the future of streaming is talk and we’re really well placed to take advantage of that from both an audience and a commercial point of view.”

As to how many listeners are tuning into the catch up shows, Malone says “I think the strength of our content is that it’s meant to be consumed live and so that’s really important for us.”

“It’s unmissable because it’s always relevant. You can’t time shift talk radio. It’s meant to be consumed live and it’s unskippable because it’s live.”

“When you go to an on demand platform, things can be time shifted and content can be skipped through.”

“Our audience proposition is around live and local contextually relevant content 24/7.”

Malone says new learnings have been applied over the past couple of years.

“It comes down to content data and technology. You’ve got to have great content, number one. And that’s what we’re doing across our talk stations every day.”

Malone says great technology is also a must.

“One, from a consumer point of view so that they can consume you anytime, anywhere on any device. And then secondly, from a from an advertiser point of view.”

On the prospect of car manufacturers phasing out AM radio, Malone says it’s obviously a concern.

“We have been having discussions with government around the important role of radio, especially in emergency situations and, and the and the reach that it provides.”

“At the same time, what you’re seeing with today’s numbers is that streaming is an incredibly important part of our future as well. So there’s a balance there.”

“We would hope that radio continues to be supported by the government, both through both moral support, but also regulatory support to make sure that this content of both commercial stations and government broadcasters are available to all audiences.”

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7 Jun 2023 - 9:57 am

If Tom thinks Ben Fordham’s figures are amazing, how would he describe Kyle and Jackie O’s figures?

7 Jun 2023 - 10:54 am

Does Tom realise that Alan Jones used to rate better or does he just turn a blind eye to that?

7 Jun 2023 - 1:19 pm

Let’s face it Fordham / AW / GB have no competition. Where else are 60+ listeners going to go ? Leftie ABC ? Hardly. Come on Tommy, get real.

7 Jun 2023 - 1:58 pm

I note that Tom avoided commenting on 6PR and 4BC – both of them basket cases.

7 Jun 2023 - 2:33 pm

He didn’t mention 4 BC’s breakfast show

7 Jun 2023 - 6:03 pm

Not another TB guy trying to do radio.
The future of AM is Religion and Sport format just like in the US.

8 Jun 2023 - 6:28 am

AM is a steaming pile of ***t

11 Jun 2023 - 11:01 am

The guy that lost 2GB’s unassailable Number One ratings. Executives from a television background have a poor history
in radio.

12 Jun 2023 - 10:30 am

Next he will want to bring back AM Stereo.

12 Jun 2023 - 10:34 am

The success of AW and GB audience has nothing to do with the Nine guys, all was well and truly planned and / or placed, well before they started. They get to play with afternoons, drive and nights which makes little difference. But good luck speuiking AM Talk radio, it makes FM radio look youthful and very modern by comparison.

14 Jun 2023 - 10:54 pm

Tom should be next SCA CEO.


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