The biggest movements this survey in FM were in the battle for Drive, with the 3 key networks Drive teams niggling in all markets. As all of the commercial FM stations are currently syndicating their shows nationally, big differences in audience preferences are being brought to light. Nova’s Kate, Tim and Marty held the Drive crown for a long while, but with the return of Drive superstars Hamish and Andy, they have hit a stumbling block, losing market share in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide. It will be interesting to see how they react moving forward to combat Hit’s rising star. The other Drive team, that most people seem to skim over, is Hughsey and Kate on the KIIS network, who have been the quiet achievers of this survey. Hughsey and Kate maintained their lead in Adelaide and Brisbane, showing growth in Sydney and Perth. Melbourne is the only market that seems down on KIIS, maybe they are just showing loyalty to Hamish and Andy?
Speaking of Hit, Hamish and Andy are paying dividends for the SCA network across Australia as expected. While Hit received a boost in 10+ market share across the nation, it seems like Sydney will buck the trend with losses of share across most day parts, and only a small growth in the Drive session. It is very difficult for SCA to build the audience in Drive when the Breakfast session is failing to fire with Dan and Maz. Lack of performance has called into question their viability long-term in this session and market.
The other SCA brand, Triple M posted another consistent survey result off the back of the Footy Season. The M’s know their market and stick to it; the challenge is maintaining audience share post Footy Season into the summer, how will their summer programming reflect the fact that they don’t have the rights to the cricket? Good thing they can keep talking about Jarryd Hayne in the NFL for a while!
Smooth maintained Number 1 FM station position in the Sydney Market, with a second consecutive survey win, which is a great result and continues to grow, with a significant jump in Melbourne this survey. This is promising for the relatively new network, is there potential in Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane? Smooth in Melbourne showed growth across all day parts and key demographics. Morning and Afternoon sessions continue to deliver for Smooth in both Sydney and Melbourne, along with strong weekends. These sessions are often indicative of longer listening times which is always a plus for radio stations. All of those Mum’s listening in is clearly paying off for them!
The GOLD network shed share nationally, only 4KQ in Brisbane holding strong. WSFM’s Jonsey and Amanda in Sydney retained their FM breakfast crown for another survey, growing slightly, closely followed by studio mates, KIIS to top off Sydney Breakfast. GOLD in Melbourne proved themselves to be a constant contender, managing to take out #2 in the 10+ demo, only slightly losing market share, but they can’t really be blamed. With the jump in FOX’s ratings, it demonstrations GOLD’s strength that they only had a small lose, with other key stations KIIS and 3MMM haemorrhaging share.
The Macquarie Radio Network is staying strong in all AM markets, with King Pin 3AW in Melbourne having a good boost in share, beating their nearest rival by 4 points. Sydney’s top dog 2GB has retained their might across all day parts and clearly won in the 10+ market. Despite 2GB’s small drop in share, they are still miles ahead of any other AM or FM station in the market, no worries for them in the near future. Brisbane’s 4BC are building audience as the listeners tune in greater numbers to the Sydney shock jocks Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, Brisbane seeming a little slow on the uptake but it is still positive results for the talk-back icon moving up the Brisbane Breakfast ladder. 5AA’s shining star is the Drive show, coming in at equal second of all of the radio stations in this session. Perth’s 6PR remained steady as the gap closes between them an ABC, slow and steady wins the race. Key figures for this survey were Alan Jones and his counterparts in Melbourne, Ross Stevenson and John Burns, winning their 190th and 110th survey wins respectively. The Macquarie – Fairfax merger seems to be working well for everyone involved.
Update: As predicted, SCA are looking for strength in Sydney Breakfast (where they have been lacking all year). They have announced that the high profile Rove McManus will be taking over the Sydney breakfast show. It has yet to be revealed when this changing of the guard will occur, but we are guessing it will come before the end of the year, survey 8 perhaps? Whenever it does come, this will leave Sydney with a powerful top-and-tail of the day. Will this be the end of Hit’s Sydney worries?