Hamish and Andy will attract only 60% of previous audience predicts ARN CEO

SCA’s Craig Bruce says he’s partly right.


Only a few hours after ARN’s parent company, APN News & Media announced a surge in revenue at it’s annual Investor Day last week it took to a private room in Sydney’s trendy Establishment to win friends and influence people among among an invited audience of advertising buyers.

Each of the major APN divisions including NZME, iHeart, Emotive, Australian Regional Media and ADSHELL were represented as, of course, was the star of the group, it’s radio division, ARN. We’ll have more on that presentation soon.

On these kinds of occasions, with a captive audience of advertisers, the opposition is rarely mentioned but ARN CEO, Ciaran Davis (main picture) in outlining the coming battle for Drive, could not help but mention them, even if he could barely bring himself to say their names.

Here’s a transcript of what he had to say.

I particularly want to talk about Drive because Drive is going to be a hot button across this industry for the next six months. 

We’re very pleased that Hughesy and Kate have come on board at the beginning of this year – 1.36 million audience with a 10.1 share. They’re very strong in Melbourne but also very strong in other markets where they were not so well known. For us the drive market is critically important. 

Let me just say now that it is a very different competitive landscape in 2010 than when the H and J “word” were on. I never say their name – I just use the word ‘H and J.’ They were the only networked drive show at that stage. Today you’ve got four very good ones.

You’ve got MMM. You’ve got ourselves. You’ve got Nova and you’ll have Hamish and Andy. The competitive landscape is incredibly different. 

Drive accounts for 12% of overall listening . So, even if Hamish and Andy were doing the shares that they were doing in 2010, which I doubt because they are up against three other national shows, the overall impact of their share to the station and the network  is not as strong a silver bullet that some people might want it to be. 

The strength of any drive show anywhere in the world is driven by breakfast. The Hamish and Andy show in Sydney is going to have about 60% of the audience they had in 2010. 

So, no matter what you hear, see or read about how strong Hamish and Andy are going to be,  I can tell you that ARN and Nova and Triple M will be fighting very hard, I’m sure, to make sure that that share doesn’t come back. 

We’re incredibly happy with the drive show we have- we think it’s very good and were about to announce a major sponsorship. So I’m delighted that Hamish and Andy are coming on board  because the rising tide does lift all boats and were very pleased about that. But I promise you that the Drive show is going to be incredibly competitive and it won’t be the silver bullet that some people want it to be.

We asked for comment from SCA and Head of Content Craig Bruce was happy to step up to the crease with this response: “Ciaran is partly right, breakfast ultimately is the key to the success of any FM station as we’re seeing right now in Melbourne where his own public declaration of a KIIS number 1 result on March 10 has failed to materialise because of a much different breakfast offering than the one they have in Sydney.

“All of our competitors will try to play down the significance of H and A, it’s in their best interests to, but to think they won’t have some kind of impact-both for Nova and ARN is wishful thinking,” says Craig Bruce.

After 24 hours, our readers thought Hamish And Andy would be number one in that shift.
For the most recent update of the survey click here.


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