The New Kids on the Block Dan & Maz -The Verdict!
Firstly, it has to be said that there was never going to be an easy, ready-made talent solution to replace Kyle and Jackie O on 2day.
After last years failed 2day breakfast lineup, Dan & Maz have started 2015 and they've started off well.
Strategically, Dan & Maz fit the new 2day / Hit strategy of flanking the market’s younger end. The strategic opportunity in the Sydney breakfast market is for an Under 30 ‘pop‘ female skewed show, and they fit that bill.
They are now the youngest team on commercial breakfast radio and may make Kyle & Jackie, Jonesy & Amanda, Fitzy & Wippa and The Grill Team sound ‘old’ and perhaps in some cases a bit ‘dated’.
However, Dan & Maz will be also competing for the younger demo’s with jjj’s Matt & Alex, and Edge 96.1’s Mike & Emma, although 2day / Hit will have significantly more marketing firepower when SCA decide the time is right to heavily market the show, and 2day more generally.
The pair have very strong chemistry which comes from working on-air together for several years on drive and nights. They are energetic, real, natural, fun, a bit silly and cool. Dan in particular is a unique character, quirky and zany. Unsurprisingly, he has a comedy background, appearing at Melbourne's Comedy Festival and Adelaide’s Fringe Festival. Maz’s previous experience as a Nova producer will come in handy (*I didn't know she was Merrick & Rosso’s producer in the early 2000’s).
The pair were poached by SCA whilst doing breakfast on Nova Adelaide back in 2012.
So it would seem that Dan & Maz have the experience and credentials for the new breakfast role.
But with all that, it will not happen overnight.
The new breakfast show will take at least a year to bed in, and they should achieve some good results after a couple of years, that's how long it takes to build a new breakfast show in a competitive market. That will be the challenge for SCA programmers, management and the board, they have to be in for the long haul, be supportive and be patient.
Craig Bruce Head of Content for SCA said "we're really happy with how it's sounding but at the same time no one is getting ahead of themselves, it's a long road ahead and right now the focus is just on making the show better every day."
The new 2day breakfast is in the country's biggest and most brutal radio market, Sydney, will test the resilience of not only the talent but also the programmers, producers and management.
If they haven’t already, the SCA team will be starting to identify ‘What D & M stand for’ and ‘What’s the shows DNA?
How is their show & content different to the other shows?
How do they make it unique?
Topics so far have been topical, and on target; selfie sticks, Nick Kyrgios, Teegan Martin, Sydney’s best chips, Heather Mills, pick up props, Taylor Swift, Facebook’s shutdown, Justin Bieber, Relationship breakdowns, Blink 182.
So a mix of celebrity, topical and generic topics. And there’s an early morning trivia quiz, nothing unusual there.
It is interesting to see that on social media Dan & Maz already have a whopping 99,696 FB likes, no doubt it will be a big event when they reach the 100,000 milestone. And they have over 20,000 twitter followers well ahead of their network ‘mates’ on Fox breakfast, Fifi & Dave who have just over 4,600.
2day breakfast currently rates just 3%. The only way to go now is up. You would think SCA would be happy if Dan & Maz delivered somewhere between 4-5% by the end of the year. And that would be a good result. I’d say they’d be pleased if the new team rated around 5-6% by the end of 2016.
Dan & Maz’s content is good and will improve and its ratings success will also depend on the marketing, promotion and tactics 2day deploy and competitive Nova and Kiis marketing & promotion activity.
At the moment, Kiis and Nova are clear leaders over 2day and will do everything in their power to defend the new 2day / Hit and its breakfast show from growing.
Having 2day in a weak ratings position is extremely advantageous to both ARN and Nova Entertainment.
It means big bucks in terms of revenue so it is in their interests to keep it rating where it is. And that means significant marketing budgets to defend their positions.
And I should mention the mid-year boost Dan & Maz will receive; when Hamish and Andy eventually start it will greatly benefit the new 2day breakfast show through cross promotion and bringing in additional cume to the station and breakfast; this will have a significant influence on the Breakfast figures.
Although, Dan & Maz did have more listeners than Hamish & Andy, albeit with a 2-hour show vs a 1-hour show, according to this SCA release last year!
Good luck to the new kids on the block, Dan & Maz.
Brad March is a Director of Radio Today, is a former CEO of Austereo and has been named Media Executive of the Year. He’s Director of Marchmedia and Pacific Retail Management.