smoothfm enters its second decade this weekend

smoothfm turns ten years old on polling day, Saturday 21 May.

Listeners have been casting their ratings votes over the past decade, bringing the feel good station from a slow start after its transition from Vega to have become one of the most successful radio brands of the past decade.

The brand continues to have huge potential across broadcast, streaming and DAB+ each year as more audiences discover smoothfm’s feel good music format.

The station is programmed based on a mood rather than an era or genre, attracting an audience with a playlist curated to create an environment for listeners to feel good and announcers handpicked to complement the music format.

With the station marking 10 years on air, the brand has demonstrated its ability to adapt to changing listening behaviour and already has shown brand stretch and momentum, with potential for further growth across all audio platforms. The listening environment has changed since smooth’s launch ten years ago with the introduction of music streaming services such as Spotify bringing new competition.

smoothfm launched on 21 May 2012 with a 4.1% share in Sydney and Melbourne and 275,000 and 337,000 listeners* respectively, it’s first logo design is shown in the main picture above.

Over the past ten years, smoothfm’s combined cumulative audience has grown by 227% to 2,031,000 listeners and the station currently has an 8.0% share in Sydney and 7.3% share in Melbourne **.

Over the past two years, NOVA Entertainment has launched a diverse range of era or mood-based formats, designed to appeal to the changing ways listeners interact with the smoothfm radio brand. The DAB and streaming formats, a natural extension of the smoothfm brand, reflects listeners’ deeper relationship with audio while providing new targeted commercial opportunities for agencies and clients. smooth Relax launched in 2019, followed by smooth 80s and smooth 90s in 2020, to deliver a feel-good experience strategically designed to reflect the FM brands within NOVA Entertainment’s audio eco-system.

Paul Jackson, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Programming & Music Content Officer says “smoothfm occupies a unique position in market, with a focus on creating a mood rather than a particular era or genre, so the station has always run its own race.

“With the same on and off air programming team for smooth’s first 10 years, there is a consistency and passion for the brand that has been integral to station’s success. With smoothfm constantly evolving over the past 10 years, the power of the brand has provided real opportunity, with the creation of specific DAB+ and streaming versions of the core brand to meet listener demand. There is still so much potential in the brand and by continuing to leverage our point of difference, we are only expecting further growth for the smooth brand as more listeners and clients discover smooth’s feel good music positioning.”

COVID accelerated the digitisation of radio listening, changing the way people interact with their favourite radio brands. smooth had already seen a 135% increase in streaming since August 2017, and from March 2020 to March 2022 there was a further 58% increase in audiences accessing the station via streaming and a 67% increase in time spent listening over this period.

The DAB+ audience has also doubled with smooth 80s increasing by 256%, smooth 90s by 153% and smooth Relax Sydney by 158%+ since February 2020.

Nick Young, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Commercial Officer says: “Smooth has spent the last ten years establishing itself as Australia’s home of feel good music and has been at the forefront of providing advertisers with brand-safe environments that deliver high audience attention, cut through and recall. As audiences continue to expand across all platforms there is further potential for commercial growth in digital audio. Smooth is uniquely positioned to capitalise on this by offering advertisers addressable solutions, to highly passionate consumers at a scale that can drive commercial impact for brands.”

smoothfm’s easy listening format has provided a compelling platform for the world’s biggest artists and personalities to host their own weekend shows, weekend Dinner Parties or music specials including Ed Sheeran, Lionel Richie, Kylie Minogue, Barry Gibb, Elton John, Olivia Newton-John, John Farnham, Josh Groban, Robbie Williams, Dolly Parton, James Blunt, Tina Arena, Ronan Keating, Kim Wilde, Rod Stewart and Michael Bublé. In addition to the artists sharing special moments in their lives, these shows also feature specially-curated playlists of artists and songs that had an impact on that artist’s career, to create the perfect backdrop to listener’s evenings.

smoothfm has changed the lives of many listeners over the past 10 years, giving away over $4,115,000 in cash and prizes with popular competitions smooth stars, mystery word, smooth songs, smooth’s secret sound and smooth’s mystery ingredients.

With all the achievements and efforts over the last 10 years, the on and off-air team’s hard work and commitment has been reflected in the station’s ACRA (Australian Commercial Radio Award) results. smoothfm have won 17 ACRAs since launching in May 2012 including Best station produced commercial (2012), Best Music Special (Richard Wilkins & John Farnham 2013, Richard Wilkins & Michael Bublé 2015 & Top 500 smoothfm Favourites Countdown 2016), Melissa Doyle – Best New Talent On Air 2014 & Best Music Presenter 2018, Best Marketing Campaign (smooth launch featuring Michael Bublé 2013 & smooth Festival of Chocolate 2017), Best Community Service Project (Radiothon 2018), Best Program Director (Peter Clay 2016 & Georgie Page 2019) and Best News Presenter (Brian White Memorial – Glenn Daniel 2014, Ron Wilson 2015 & 2018 and Steve Blanda 2017 & 2020/2021).


* 4.1% 10+ share and 275,000 cumulative listeners in Sydney and 4.1% 10+ share and 337,000 listeners in Melbourne – Source: Melbourne and Sydney radio survey 4, 2012, Nielsen radio ratings
** 7.3% share and 993,000 cume in Melbourne and 8.0% share and 1,038,00 cume in Sydney (combined cume of 2,031,000) – Source: Melbourne and Sydney radio survey 2, 12 April 2022. GfK Radio Ratings

+ Streaming and DAB+ – Source: Triton Webmetrics 2012-2012

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