Radio Ratings: Q&A with ARN’s Duncan Campbell

Former Assistant Editor

The third GfK radio ratings survey for the year is done and dusted.

Now its time for the networks to attempt to make sense of it all, and Radio Today caught up with ARN national content director Duncan Campbell.

Radio Today: Kyle & Jackie O have obviously extended their dominance in Sydney this survey. What is their strongest point of difference for listeners?

Duncan Campbell: The fan base within that show is superfans and they will listen to that show for as long as it’s on. It’s a combination of factors, but I think you have to go default to content being the primary reason why people listen and the fact is that such a heritage show. 10:30am is probably the longest they tend to go, but there’s a very healthy fan base there that love that show and love what they do.

RT: Kyle went on a classic rant about 2DayFM and Nova. Is that something you condone? Or you just let him go?

DC: Oh no, Kyle likes to comment, he has his views, they’re his personal views on that, so we don’t censor that sort of content. That’s his opinion, so that’s fine.

RT: Jonesy and Amanda had a good result to see them up into second on FM Breakfast. Can WS make up the two-point gap to smooth this year? 

DC: Firstly on Jo and Amanda, that’s a great result for them, it’s great for us to have a #1 and #2 FM Breakfast show. Look it’s a real battle between smooth and WS given the audience sharing that goes on between those two stations and a lot of effort’s going into WSFM. I think that because the station sounds as good as it does at the moment, then anything’s possible, but smooth’s a great competitor there’s no doubt about that. I think we can get them before the end of the year.

RT: Melbourne’s standout result was Gold’s Gavin Miller going top on Drive. Give us a bit of an idea about what he does well.

DC: First of all, he’s very passionate about the music that he plays. It’s a really intensive show with more than just, you know, line card delivery. It’s a lot of passion, a lot of localism for Melbourne in terms of what’s going on with obviously traffic etc as a reflection of the city. And look, he’s really the quiet achiever there. He’s been on that show for quite a few years now and I think compared to the other offerings in the market, it’s a point of difference and it’s got that unique position which is Gold is famous for. It’s a great result for him, and he deserves a lot of accolades today.

RT: We saw some upward movement for KIIS FM in Melbourne today. Is this the start of a turnaround?

DC: Behind the share there’s obviously some better signs, or some more encouraging signs in terms of cume. This is the best cume that KIIS has hadfor five years in the station, and the breakfast fume has jumped 60,000 this survey. So it’s a really positive sign in terms of momentum potentially building for the KIIS now. I’m really happy with the signs or the indicators if you like for KIIS even though the share has only moved slightly. But, it’s a 0.9 jump overall which is certainly up into the high fives which is better than the high fours.

RT: Christian O’Connell is celebrating a year on Gold Breakfast ow. Would you be happy with knowing where he’s rating now a year ago?

DC:  Yeah I would actually, I mean the fact is we learned a lot obviously over the last 12 months with these shows we put in place into Melbourne. I can’t believe it’s 12 months since we started, the big learning curve is the fact that when these shows are unknown, it takes a lot longer for the audience to get to know them and to build confidence in terms of that being their show of first choice.

Christian’s done a great job of delivering very consistent, very inclusive, unique sort of content for Melbourne and he’s resonating brilliantly. That show will continue to build now and which it has done, and yeah it’s going to be a very interesting second half of the year for him.

RT: Seeing that result in Brisbane to see 97.3 up into third overall must be I guess pretty satisfying. As we know it’s publicly been a station that you guys have been working quite closely with recently.

DC: Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t approve every break that goes out on Breakfast though, and they’re not pre-recorded just for the record. We’ve put a lot of work in there and the predictions I made last survey for Brisbane have pretty much come true. I did say the softening of Hit105 and Triple M – that’s happened, and you know we’ve still got a long way to go. But the encouraging thing for us is we’re back in the pack really.

We want to be ahead of Triple M which is great. There’s only 1.5 share points between first and fourth in Brisbane, and the Breakfast show up a little bit. So, it’s good, encouraging to see the hard work paying off and I think they dynamic between Bianca & Mike, in particular, is really improving and resonating with audiences. So, still a work in progress, but it’s good to see us in a more healthy competitive position in Brisbane.

Catch up on all the #1s, ratings cards and key talking points from Survey #3 of 2019 here.

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5 Jun 2019 - 4:19 pm

I can’t believe people actually thought he approved every break! The news, for example, live. Traffic reports, they’re not pre-recorded for approval.

Only breaks with Bianca or Mike in them need to be pre-recorded and approved.

Also good prediction on the softening of hit105, don’t let the fact that Nova and Triple softened more take away from that prediction.

6 Jun 2019 - 5:30 am

Living and listening in Melbourne it doesn’t seem that KIIS has momentum at all. I’d suggest Duncan that this tiny increase will be short lived and is a result of extensive marketing, contesting and a 5 million dollar national contest. I would expect breakfast to sit in the 4-5 range and interesting to note national drive Will and Woody is not improving in the ratings. Another note to Duncan you are not there to learn it’s not radio school you are there to deliver ratings my friend. Enjoy this very short term blip in ratings unfortunately for ARN the KIIS Melbourne Content Strategy is not working and hope they have a plan B for next year.


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