Paul Jackson on Nova Ent’s Survey 1 : ‘brilliant’

Staff Writer

If you haven't yet seen the results and analysis from Survey 1, see it all here.

You can also see the press releases and the ups and downs.

Earlier we heard what Craig Bruce from SCA had to say after the first survey result of 2014 and also from ARN's Duncan Campbell. Below, I chat with Paul Jackson, Nova Entertainment's Group Program Director, and get his take on their survey.

Paul: Let me start nationally, Nova is the number 1 network in Australia both cume and share with record numbers – 3,257,000 cume so we were delighted with that for the first snapshot of the year. Smooth is equally brilliant. We're about 20% up on the backend of last year – 1.21m listeners and the best shares we've ever done.

Nova breakfast in every market is going brilliantly. We're the number 1 network for breakfast share and cume across the country. The drive show (Kate, Tim & Marty) I must commend. Kate has done brilliantly off the back of Meshel moving into breakfast at Nova 100. So that's a tight and really focused show and that's number 1 across the country. Smallzy (nights) had a brilliant year last year and I can't praise him highly enough and his show is also number 1 across the country.

Also a quick mention for FIVEaa as well, that result is outstanding. Remember we talked about that last year and you were asking what we were going to do. We've revamped the breakfast show, we've made some brave changes to the entire station. For the first snapshot that's outstanding.

So across the country absolutely brilliant numbers.

Mark: A lot of the focus is on Sydney in this first result of the year. What were your thoughts on what might happen in the market going into today?

Paul: We knew there'd be a shift but what nobody knew was how seismic the shift would be of 2Day FM listeners moving to KIIS. I thought Nova would be relatively unscathed by that as would smoothfm and it has turned out to be that way.

The KIIS launch made a lot of noise and was a strong launch period so they turned in a good number.

From our own perspective I look back a year ago, we started survey 1 2013 on a 6.1% overall. Also in previous years we always do start slow. Fitzy & Wippa's number in that context is very good, it's the best they've ever had. To do that in the first book I'm very pleased with. Nova 96.9 is the number 1 station in cume, it's the number 1 station under 40. I'm very proud of the team and their efforts.

What you've then got is a dynamic in Sydney where 2Day's weakness in turn is KIIS FM's strengths. So what you've now got is a 2 horse race but it's a different 2 horse race from last year – it's now Nova Entertainment vs ARN and that is going to be a brilliant battle. Bring it on.

On the smoothfm front, any other book people would be focusing on smooth being on 7.1%, could it get to a 5, could it get to a 6 but hang on these numbers are brilliant. It's consistent, its strengths are right across the board from young to old and it's still a station finding its feet as it's only 18 months old. I know I've harped on forever about giving it 3 years and it will be the number 1 station, well I got to keep on at that because 7.1% playing an FM market leader of 8.4%, anything could happen in the coming books.

There's the first snapshot, we've got another one coming around Easter. What we need to now do is get 3 or 4 under our belt and everybody take a view when the marketplace really settles down.

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