Chris Scaddan on the “stellar guests” and “great content” that’s led to Ben & Liam’s strong fourth book

Former Assistant Editor

The results of Survey #4 for 2018 were unveiled yesterday, with a great result for triple j‘s Breakfast duo Ben and Liam.

They were up in four markets, rising to 4.1% Melbourne (+0.2), to 5.1% in Adelaide (+0.3), and making impressive gains to 5.2% in Sydney (+1.0) and 7.4% in Brisbane (+1.0), all the while remaining flat in Perth.

It’s a great result for a station and a show that traditionally sees a dip after its first book of the year, which includes listener figures for the popular Hottest 100 countdown.

Ben and Liam’s impressive result in Sydney also sees them pass 2DayFM‘s much-maligned Em, Grant and Ed Breakfast show who fell to 4.9% (-0.7).

For ABC’s head of music Chris Scaddan, the result is just a culmination of a lot of small steps in the right direction.

“Ben, Liam and Brooke (Boney), and the production team all work really hard on the show, making sure they’re relevant and interesting each and every morning,” he tells Radio Today.

“They’ve had some great guests and good mini-campaigns in the last couple of months, including a few good video wins, which as well as being great content in their own right, are drawing people back to their daily show. Friday’s popular Like A Version segment has had some stellar guests in the studio over the past two months too.

In saying that, Chris says there weren’t necessarily expectations behind this performance, and it’s important for triple j not to get ahead of itself.

“For everything triple j does, we’d love the audience to keep growing, mainly because we really believe in the music and the shows and the presenters.

“We try not to focus too much on individual surveys either, instead looking at the overall trend from year to year.”

There was a strong gain for triple j in their target demographic of People 18-24 in Perth especially, whilst it maintained strong chunks of that audience in other markets, especially in Adelaide and Brisbane.

“That’s the target demo for triple j, so we’re always happy to get a lift to our overall average,” Scaddan explains.

“Everything triple j does goes through that editorial prism, ensuring it’s relevant for young Australians. That said, the results always bounce around in that demo, so again, it’s the trend and average across the year that we’re really interested in.

Surpassing 2DayFM Breakfast is also an interesting stat to come from the survey, but Scaddan refuses to concede that the national broadcaster is paying any mind to how commercial stations are performing,

“To be honest, triple j doesn’t pay much attention to what the commercial networks are doing unless they’re overlapping with something we do, which isn’t very often,” he says.

Despite the news out of Survey #4 being positive overall, the national broadcaster did experience falls overall in People 10+ for Sydney and Melbourne. For Scaddan and the team, that’s just a natural part of the challenge of remaining relevant for a national audience.

“The biggest strength and biggest challenge for triple j is that it’s national,” he says.

“The triple j team are talking to the whole country at once, bringing people together around the music and around Hack, so it’s difficult to hone in on super-local content and audiences unless you’re making it relevant to everyone.

“That said, being national means that across a week, our Breakfast and Drive shows talk to around 1 million people each, and triple j as a whole has 1.8 million+ listeners in the five capital cities.”

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11 Jul 2018 - 8:57 am

Really the ABC boffins aren’t happy about beating 2DAYFM what a load of rubbish.

11 Jul 2018 - 1:56 pm

Refreshing that the ABC grooms talent like Ben & Liam. So many great talented names have come out of ABC tv and radio. Nice to see these boys doing so well. Really pleasing.

11 Jul 2018 - 2:49 pm

Looks like triple J are about to give triple m up in Sydney a run for its money too. Bring back Zipper and the Shitstick now

12 Jul 2018 - 9:56 am

Three words for the ABC. Rate or die


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