Sydney Ratings Shakeup: What happened in Survey 5?

Former Assistant Editor

Survey #5 of 2018 revealed some serious moves in the FM Sydney market.

WSFM posted some excellent results, with Jonesy and Amanda rising above stablemates Kyle and Jackie O to claim top spot with a 10.3% share of listening (+0.7), while WS strengthened its grip on the #1 overall spot too.

Kyle and Jackie O fell almost two points to 9.3%, and unsurprisingly KIIS 106.5 also dropped to 7.0% (-1.4).

Meanwhile, 2DayFM’s share continued to fall, slipping back to 4.2% of People 10+ while Em, Grant and Ed’s Breakfast show is now rating just 3.3% (-1.0), 0.3 lower than the ratings that saw Rove and Sam axed in 2016.

NOVA Entertainment was among the biggest winners with great results in Sydney for smoothfm, Nova 96.9, and for long-term Breakfast duo Fitzy and Wippa who achieved their best result since the show began in 2011.

The boys gained 1.1% to finish on 8%, placing them third behind Jonesy and Amanda, and Kyle and Jackie O, although the KIIS duo is widely expected to bounce back next survey.

NOVA’s group program operations director Brendan Taylor tells Radio Today the result is something to build upon.

Look, it’s a really great result,” he says. “Ben Latimer and the team have worked extremely hard. You can see Fitzy and Wippa’s best ever result on an eight share, for the history of the show, it’s a fantastic result for the team.

“They work extremely hard, they’re extremely passionate about their craft. They have been consistent, but to see the result and the eight today, is just so pleasing for the team. We’re extremely proud of them.”

As for what the difference has been this time around, Taylor believes it’s just been a case of really understanding their audience.

“They know who they are, they know who the audience is. Behind the scenes, you’ve got to give credit to Tom Ivey, their longtime producer, who works extremely hard on the show. Then also Pete Clay‘s had a great involvement with the team over the last year or so.”

The overall results for Nova 96.9 were excellent too, with the station beating out KIIS, leaving them in the top spot among CHR and Hot AC stations in Sydney.

Taylor points to the introduction of the new Greatest Hits Workday music strategy as a key reason for the result.

“I think the bedding in of the Greatest Hits Workday has helped as well. I think it’s certainly contributed to our numbers today. It’s something that we hope to build on obviously, in the coming surveys.

“I think it’s just knowing the musical taste at the moment, and making sure we’re targeting our music to our audience,” he continues.

“Our cume has always been in the high nine hundreds, we broke through the millions last year. It’s about obviously improving our workday, improving our TSL. The greatest hits workdays has been in since June.

“We believe it’s our music strategy…I think it’s definitely helped the end result.”

But Nova was not the only station to shift their workday strategy. 2DayFM shifted to Hot AC at the start of the year, and despite a heavy marketing campaign behind the switch and a slight upturn in Survey 2, now finds itself slipping backwards.

Southern Cross Austereo’s Survey 5 media release chose to largely focus on reach rather than share, highlighting 2DayFM’s reach of 796K weekly listeners, and on Triple M’s predictable results in Men ages 25-54 with The Grill Team #1 for that demo.

As a result of these changes, and KIIS 106.5 still sitting with a music strategy falling somewhere between Hot AC and CHR, there is now no pure CHR station in Sydney.

Nova 96.9 was the final station to let go of the CHR format, so why is Nova’s new strategy working best?

“They wouldn’t be pleased with our result today,” says Taylor of 2Day’s latest numbers. “I’m still going through the numbers myself.

“The focus on us is obviously the workday strategy. I think today is testament to the guys that worked extremely hard to get that result.”

NOVA Entertainment’s smoothfm’s results were excellent too, with both Sydney and Melbourne recording good gains.

“Let’s just say PJ [Paul Jackson] jumped and screamed out of a chair, getting #1,” Taylor says.

“He’s extremely proud of that result in Melbourne, again it’s such a dynamic and competitive marketplace.

“Overall, with a 1.2 share increase to 9.6, [it’s] a fantastic result for [smooth program director] Georgie Page.

“If you’re focusing on breakfast there, 1.0 increase for [Sydney’s] Bogart and Glenn, and up in every daypart across the day.

“Consistency is so key for smooth.

“They just know who they are and what the product is. I think even more so with the announcement of Michael Bublé on the air. I feel good now. It’s been moving into a really great place, so the battle is definitely on.”

Again, Taylor returns to the idea of experience and knowing your audience as a key driving factor when it comes to ratings success.

“There’s a lot of voice(s) in [the] market, there’s a lot of marketing out there. Again, it comes down to what’s coming out of the speakers and the content, and the music strategy.

“I think smooth has again nailed it on the music. It’s very targeted – they know the listeners, along with Ty and Simon across the day, they’re all just delivering a great number.”

Of course, it would be remiss to talk about the success of the Nova Network and not mention back-to-back ACRA winners Kate, Tim and Marty, who unsurprisingly remains the #1 National Drive Show in the country. 

“I think, it’s consistency, it’s their very consistent #1 show,” says Taylor.

“Is there room to grow? I think there always is. Drive is really competitive, but again it’s a testament to the quality of Kate, Tim & Marty, the show they do, the content they provide. It’s a national #1 for a reason, and we’re proud of the team there.

Smallzy too, is a pivotal part of the NOVA Entertainment ecosystem, and yesterday reached 40 consecutive #1s on National Nights.

“Look, it’s just he’s world renowned with the artists, he has a great rapport with all the artists that he plays. He’s built that over a number of years. That’s the result, it’s the music he plays, it’s his relationship with the artists, no one does it better than Smallzy. I think that’s the results that are showing here.”

But as they say, it takes at least three

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30 Aug 2018 - 1:22 pm

Credit must also go to Brendan Taylor for his massive contribution to Nova’s success over the years. If you take a Squizz at historical results you’ll find that Brendo has been influential since Nova Boy was a Baby. Face it, his contribution to the development of the Nova sound has resulted in them rating their Pants off. Well done BT.

Peter Johnson
30 Aug 2018 - 10:02 pm

So Fitzy and Wippa have had 1 good survey in 7 years? One hot day doesn’t make a summer. I think they will be replaced next year.

31 Aug 2018 - 6:05 am

Aircheck : Brendan could tighten up. Be more concise and efficient with wording. Avoid cliches and watch repetition.

31 Aug 2018 - 6:10 am

Novas morning’s barely moved and afternoon stayed flat on 7% so how can it be their new daytime music strategy ?

31 Aug 2018 - 12:15 pm

What happened in the 18-24 demo in Sydney??

1 Sep 2018 - 4:22 pm


1 Sep 2018 - 4:51 pm

Pantslady everyone would agree Nova has become more and more run of the mill/yawn ever since Dean and Dan left. You could tell it was nova, unlike now it would be anyone’s guess between Nova, 2day and KIIS. Doubt Breno would want the credit. What I think will be fun to watch is how DB pulls KIIS back out of its hole. Do K&J have a stunt big enough or noticeable enough to get the ball rolling?


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