Nova doubles-down on its throwback music strategy

Former Publisher

With much of the Australian population still in isolation, music programmers are tweaking playlists and trialling tactics to meet the mood of listeners.

With an increased focus on nostalgia, the Nova Network this week launched Throwback Thursday, a full workday dedicated to back catalogue hits that audiences “know and love”.

Throwback Thursday is running nationally, beginning with its breakfast shows at 6am and running through the day until Smallzy’s Surgery takes over from Kate, Tim & Marty at 7pm.

Listeners yesterday heard records from Britney Spears (‘Baby One More Time’), Oasis (‘Wonderwall’), Salt n Pepa (‘Push It’), Toto (‘Africa’) and, of course, Backstreet Boys.

Looking at music logs for Nova 96.9 Sydney for April 30, the only Australian acts to get a spin during Throwback Thursday were Sia and Vance Joy.

Talking to Radio Today after the latest radio ratings, NOVA Entertainment’s programming and marketing chief, Paul Jackson, said people want familiarity in uncertain times.

“I think right now, we’re probably in a period where people want familiar songs that they know and love and it’s less about new music,” he said.

Radio Today understands the doubling-down follows the success of the Throwback 300 countdown that ran on Nova over the Easter long weekend.

“A song’s ability to help people escape and feel good was evident with listeners choosing up-tempo and singalong classics,” he added after the countdown’s success.

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1 May 2020 - 2:43 pm

Great chat with Paul – nice work guys!

1 May 2020 - 5:25 pm

Truly awful plan to play more throwbacks in an already crowded classic hits market.

1 May 2020 - 9:40 pm

Yes I heard it on Thursday they played some great throwbacks. I heard The Weekend, Maroon 5 and that old classic from Carley Rae Jepson.
Took me back to yesterday… I mean yesteryear

1 May 2020 - 9:40 pm

People in isolation, listening to the radio more….Nova playing the same old repetitive music on repeat would be a turn off. I can see why people are turning to Spotify.

2 May 2020 - 3:34 pm

So now the cool kids at Nova are basically like the old TTFM in Melbourne circa 2000 (minus the local content). A flanking strategy and they call themselves “hot” but really, they’re not!

Radio Nerd
4 May 2020 - 5:42 pm

Honestly, I can’t listen to Nova at work because they repeat the same songs every two hours.

5 May 2020 - 2:45 pm

Old Nova:
“sounds different”

New Nova:
“the station you grew up with has grown up too… songs you can sing along to that make you feel good”

Nathan Gough
16 Oct 2020 - 8:46 am

Oh my god what has happened. I’ve been listening to Nova for years. They were always know for doing things differently. They had work experience Bevan. And they used to do random skits before songs. It kept you laughing all day. Then they just started sounding like every other radio station. All the randomness is gone. At least we had throwback Thursday. But over time throwbacks have become less throwback. What ever happened to TV Rock? Sneaky sound system? The presets? They were also known for doing Nova first plays. What happened to that??? Now it seems throwback is gone. I may have to switch stations.. 🙁


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