How ARN maintained ‘always on’ content strategy during pandemic

• Duncan Campbell on ARN’s #1 FM shows and coming out of Covid-19

ARN ratings highlights GfK Survey 6 2020

• Gold 104.3 #1FM station for the sixth consecutive survey
• Christian O’Connell breakfast #1FM for third consecutive survey
• GOLD 104.3 #1FM with 1,038,000 listeners
• Kyle & Jackie O Show and Jonesy & Amanda #1 and #2 FM breakfast
• Kyle & Jackie O Show #1 FM breakfast for 14th consecutive survey
• Mix 102.3 #1 overall for fourth consecutive survey share and cume
• Mix 102.3 #1 overall mornings, afternoons and weekends, #1 FM drive
• 4KQ # AM and #1 commercial AM breakfast with Laurel, Gary and Mark

“My view is radio has weathered the storm very well,” ARN’s national content director Duncan Campbell told Mediaweek.

If you take radio listening nationally there has been little movement. There has been changes obviously in terms of at home and in car, especially in Melbourne with the tighter restrictions impacting on lifestyle.

“ARN came out of it particularly well given the circumstances. It didn’t have the overall impact it could have had if the Melbourne Covid impact was seen around the country. When you look at the Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth results you could even be forgiven for asking if there was a pandemic. It remains a tight race in Brisbane, we continue to do well in Adelaide and Perth is continuing to improve.

“Even in Sydney there are highlights with Kyle and Jackie O doing very strong numbers in breakfast where they are now the second most-listened to breakfast show in the country in terms of cume. They have only been beaten by 3AW. WSFM has also been very strong for us as well.”

Campbell noted while there were drops in Melbourne, Gold’s ranking is still very strong. “Gold remains #1 FM station 10+ and #1 FM breakfast. In morning, afternoon and drive it is #1 FM and the #1 FM cume overall. That in isolation is a great result.”

The ARN programmer also pointed out there is unlikely to be any ongoing ratings trends from the results this week. “The pandemic is going to pass. There will be some residual impacts which will be permanent, like more flexible working arrangements. Things won’t go back exactly to the way they were prior to the pandemic.

Campbell is keen to see the country moving again and to see consumer confidence lift leading to advertisers spending money.

ARN executives haven’t been travelling as they normally do. “Not being able to get around to the different markets has been challenging. I am a bit tired of the newsreader view you get through Zoom or Teams.

“We have managed to maintain what we call an ‘always on’ content approach during the pandemic. It has paid dividends for us in that we have offered listeners great content this year. The quality of the content hasn’t dropped.”

Particularly compelling was The Kyle and Jackie O Show during the time Jackie went to Melbourne for The Masked Singer and continued broadcasting every day during her quarantine period.”

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