Survey 6 could be described as one out of the box with more stations recording a 0.0 change from any previous Survey than anyone can remember.
Four stations alone in Melbourne were rock steady.
“It’s kinda weird isn’t it? I have never seen that before,” says Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson.
“I think someone’s forgotten to fill in some of the numbers.
“We are in the realms of lottery here, I might buy a ticket,” he jokes.
ARN’s Duncan Campbell is more circumspect about the oddity.
“I think they are fairly close together, the surveys…I don’t think listening patterns shift greatly between Survey 5 and Survey 6 unless there has been a major impact in a given market,” he says.
Five of the nine unchanged this Survey, belonged to SCA.
“Well I haven’t seen that for awhile,” says the Hit Network’s Gemma Fordham.
“It is a bit unusual but it is what it is.”
“It looks a little odd when it first comes out,” says Triple M’s Mike “Fitzy” Fitzpatrick.
“I don’t know what to make of it, it’s a very, very tough market.”
The Nova brand stations in Sydney and Melbourne both remained neutral with a 0.0 gain/loss.
But Paul Jackson has plenty to say about smooth in Sydney with smooth 95.3’s 9.8% share tantalisingly close to double figures.
“Absolutely incredible,” says Paul.
“I don’t want to tempt fate by saying anything really, it could happen – we’ve obviously got a chance at some point.”
smooth is Sydney is now #3 in the market and #1 FM, a full 2.0 ahead of nearest rival KIIS 106.5.
“Even when you get to drive time and nights we beat 2GB and the ABC and we are close in other day parts, says Paul.
“I think the best and most powerful form of marketing for this radio station is word of mouth.”
Rove and Sam on breakfast at 2Day in Sydney again increased their share to an overall 4.3.
“They’ve had growth there every book so far this year,” says Gemma.
“It is now the best breakfast result the station has had in a few years.
To see the station grow overall is exactly where we want it, so it’s all heading in the right direction,” says Gemma.
In Sydney despite a slight drop on KIIS 1065 Kyle and Jackie O remain #1 in Breakfast with stable mate WSFM’s Jonesy and Amanda #2 FM
“Sydney has tightened up this year no doubt about that and smooth has had a good year but I think we have responded and sustained our position really well”, says Duncan.
“Even though Kyle and Jack have slipped back a little bit they really are in a dominant position.”
In Melbourne and Triple M’s Hot Breakfast with Eddie McGuire, Luke Darcy and Mick Malloy grew from an 8.4 share to 9.2.
“Always pleased,” says Fitzy. In fact here is my survey football analogy – I’d rather win by six goals than two.”
Speaking of footy, Triple M’s football call in Melbourne reaches 330 thousand listeners, more than any radio station in that city.
“…not only a great result but it sets us up for the next six years,” says Fitzy after the network recently extended their AFL rights deal.
“Footy is in our DNA.”
Hot on the heels of that deal, SCA recently confirmed it would rebrand it’s LocalWorks stations to Triple Mon December 15 with Fitzy seeing many benefits.
“It allows us to have a truly national brand…we believe in regional radio, all we are doing is giving it a fresh coat of paint.”
SCA has also announced an extension of its Hit Network.
“It’s about aligning the brand but also maintaining localism,” says Gemma.
Meantime FOX recorded the largest radio audience in Australia with over 1.1 million listeners and tied #1 FM Station with Gold 104.3
“The thing I am really pleased about is Fox has seen a substantial cume growth, while Gold has dropped off in cume,” says Gemma.
“ So I am not too focused on that Fox/Gold battle,” she says.
“…if we were able to lift breakfast a little bit more we can make an impact there. So I think strategically that’s where our focus will be in 2017,” says Duncan.
“There’s no major line-up changes this time around it’s more what we can do from a marketing perspective.”
There was some growth in Melbourne with KIIS 101.1 up 0.3%.
“KIIS in Melbourne is still a challenge for us and 96 FM in Perth – but you know, we are back at #2 All People 10+ as a network which is extraordinary this round so a good set of numbers for ARN content teams.”
Smooth in Melbourne is pulling its weight on an 8.0 share at #3 FM.
“Yes, we are so close in Melbourne but like in life, when you are so close you are still so far,” Paul says.
“I predict by Survey 3 or maybe 4 next year we will be able to get smooth to #1 and then hold that as well.”
Survey 6 delivered strong results for ARN in Adelaide with Mix 102.3 #1 station overall and #1 Breakfast with 102.3’s Jodie and Soda.
“It’s a great recovery in Adelaide full credit to Sue Carter and the team there. It’s historically a very strong station. I think we took our eye off the ball a little bit but we are very strategically focused as a business and that enables us to react quite efficiently and effectively when we need to – and we certainly did in Adelaide.”
In the context of Survey 6 Nova saw a huge gain in Adelaide of 1.4 share points to reach 11.3 making it a clear #2 behind Mix 102.3.
“Around the country it’s 0.0 and here we have 1.4 it’s the sublime and the ridiculous,” says Paul
“Mix is a powerhouse that lost its way a little bit this year but is in good form and that is the dynamic you would expect to see.”
Nova Brisbane lost -0.7 but managed to retain it’s #1 crown.
And in Perth Nova 93.7 had 570 000 listeners every week the most of any station there.
You can read our analysis here and check out the spin here.
But given it’s AFL Grand Final week the last word goes to Fitzy with his station in Melbourne number one in Football for people 10 – 69 with a share of 9.4% – so who is going to win Saturday?
“It’s very tough because I am a Swans supporter and while it would be a wonderful moment to watch the Bulldogs win their first Grand Final since 1954, I bleed red and white.”