TV audience and revenue grows at Southern Cross Austereo

The man responsible for securing revenue for Australia’s biggest radio and regional TV broadcaster reveals just how well TV has been performing

The man responsible for securing revenue for Australia’s biggest radio and regional TV broadcaster has revealed just how well TV revenue has been performing recently.

SCA chief sales officer Brian Gallagher laid out some ambitious revenue targets to Mediaweek after the deal with Nine was sealed to be its new regional affiliate. “We are meeting our targets,” Gallagher told Mediaweek, revealing that in weeks 28-38 (excluding Rio Games weeks 33 and 34) of 2016 the regional audience watching Southern Cross Austereo TV was up 58%.

“We were very well organised with all the systems in place, and that gave us a bit of a head start as some of our competitors weren’t quite so well organised, perhaps getting caught short a little.

“For us the revenue followed straight away [after SCA started broadcasting the Nine signal].

“Ratings grew very quickly, but we had the benefit of having dual radio stations in most of the territories where we were broadcasting a Nine affiliation change. You wouldn’t think it – but advertising actually works! [Laughs]

“We were able to push very hard on the change to Nine with radio advertising blanketing the market during the switchover. We had the Nine branding which helped by being very clear and unambiguous. Plus Nine’s new schedule post-Olympics has just cracked it in regional markets. Over the past four weeks, quite often our share was actually higher or close to the Nine metro share. That hasn’t happened a lot in the past with there often being some sort of a lag.”

As to where the ads are coming from, Gallagher said: “There are about 12 categories we are very focused on. The story we are taking to the market is very, very powerful around growth in revenue for these brands in those categories. We are being embraced by the agencies on that basis and they are very proactive on bringing the clients to the table. We are having a lot of discussion about how to help brands grow, utilising this cross-platform reach that we have got.

“That is another really significant thing that is playing into the story at the moment about the nationwide perception the pendulum has swung way too far to Facebook and other digital publishers. They are not creating a brand presence. Brand equity for many of the leading brands in the market over the last decade has consistently fallen because of the short-term approach to tactical-based campaigning. More often than not it includes a greater percentage of digital inventory than it probably should have.”

Although agency chiefs actually make noises about changes of buying habits, they are not always followed through. Asked if he thought we might see the pendulum swing this time, Gallagher said: “When you say swing, that suggests an inevitable and momentous movement from one side to the other. I don’t see that, but I do see incremental change.

“Agencies are very focused on digital trading and they are committed in that space. The movement of brand dollars out of that space into other spaces to improve brand presence and salience will be a client-by-client focus.”

See the full interview with Brian Gallagher in the new Mediaweek magazine out Friday.

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