Nova Network again #1 metro radio brand, but several challenges for 2024


After a year of change across the Nova network, 2024 is about growing the audiences

Nova Entertainment has again claimed the #1 spot nationally for its metro radio Nova network. The broadcaster has calculated it is the most listened to metro network with 4,000,900 listeners in GfK Survey 7, 2023.

ARN on the other hand claims leadership in share with 17.8% (excluding DAB+) in metro markets.

In terms of individual market leadership, Nova continues to perform best in Brisbane and Perth where the stations continue to rank #1. Although the competition is fierce in both.

Nova Network group program director Brendan Taylor told Mediaweek Brisbane has four strong FM stations that could be #1 at any given time. “The consistency of Ash, Luttsy and Susie O’Neill (pictured above) and the constant refinement of the program, plus the relationship they have with listeners, keeps them ahead of the pack.”

Nova Sydney had a better survey with cume audience up 70,000 to 1,215,000 for the station. “That growth comes off the back of a constantly improving breakfast show with Fitzy and Wippa with Kate Richie. It was off slightly in share but the cume audience was growing. It shows the strength of the connection they have and highlights the product we are building.”

Taylor also mentioned the cume and share growth in morning and afternoon at the Sydney Nova station. Both dayparts that have been challenged over recent years.

If there was a place where hard work will be needed it would be Melbourne. “What a tough market,” Taylor agreed. “There is strong breakfast competition. I feel for Ben, Liam and Belle who are a great team and a hard-working team. They are just seven surveys into that competitive market and they have to ride the highs and the lows. It gives us an opportunity to ensure we are refining the product and getting it connecting to the audience. Having a strong cume audience to convert into share is a priority.”

Nova Melbourne cume audience was down under 1.1m, ranking Nova fourth out of the five FM stations with an audience over 1m.

“There has been lots of noise in the Melbourne market about what is happening next year. We are working with the team over the last couple of weeks of Survey 8 to set them up for success in 2024.”

Like Melbourne, Nova Adelaide had a new show this year with Jodie and Hayesy. In fact Survey 7 has the first with numbers for them presenting for three hours from 6am after Nova stopped the Ben, Liam and Belle breakfast hour in September. A best of their Melbourne show now broadcasts daily in Adelaide at 5am.

Jodie and Hayesy

Jodie and Hayesy remain the most-listened to Adelaide breakfast show, which they have managed for seven successive surveys so we know they have a strong connection with the audience. Like their predecessors, they are hard-working and have great chemistry and a great support structure around them.”

Nova Adelaide share was down in cume and share 10+ and in breakfast this survey. Jodie and Hayesy do remain #1 in cume at breakfast, but they now share top spot with Triple M, both stations on 161,000.

Perth market shakeup

While Nathan, Nat and Shaun were robbed of an ACRA after their first nomination this year, they remain #1 in Perth. The big news is though their lead has been cut from 7.7 to 2.9.

“From a share perspective we have dropped back in Perth,” said Taylor. “Cume is only off slightly. The breakfast team have had such a great year and to still be leading the pack is a testament to their skill as broadcasters.

Nathan Nat Shaun

Nathan, Nat and Shaun

No more changes at Nova, 2024 about growth

Taylor called 2023 a year of change with new Adelaide and Melbourne Nova breakfast shows, plus line-up changes at Sydney breakfast and national drive. “We made the changes we needed to make across the network this year. In 2024 the plan is about growing the audiences for all those new shows. We will ensure they all get the right support for success next year.”

Small ripple at Smooth

In Sydney, Smooth FM had a strong survey, but there was a bit of rough 10+ and in breakfast in Melbourne.

Taylor: “In Sydney the station cume is so close to the KIIS cume [just 16,000 listeners separate the top two stations] which is testament to the team when you consider one breakfast show is on a 16% share and the other is on 8%. The Sydney station continues to be outright #1 afternoon and in drive plus #1 in evening and on weekends. Smooth FM Sydney is doing extremely well.”

While Melbourne smooth dipped 0.8 in share, cume audience was steady level with KIIS and trailing on Gold and Fox.

DAB+ performance

Taylor pointed out the combined cume audience for the DAB+ brand extensions was now over 1m. “That includes the smoothfm DAB+ stations in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth that are all #1 DAB+ in their markets.”

Nova 96.9s Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie

Fitzy, Wippa and Kate

Nova and Smooth FM Network [edited] Highlights

• Fitzy & Wippa with Kate Ritchie is the #1 show for their national timeslot (6pm-7pm) with an 11% share
• Smallzy’s Surgery continues to be the most listened-to Evening show (7pm-10pm) nationally with 567,000 listeners
• The Nova Network is the most listened-to network on Weekends nationally with 2,475,000 listeners
• Nova 106.9 is the #1 radio station in Brisbane with a 12.1% share, and most listened to with 702,000 cume
• Nova 106.9’s Ash, Luttsy & Susie O’Neill is the #1 Breakfast show with a 13.5%, and most listened to with 405,000 cume
• Nova 93.7 is Perth’s #1 has the most listeners in market with 674,000 cume
• Nova 93.7’s Nathan, Nat & Shaun is Perth’s #1 Breakfast show with 15.7% share and the most listened to with 400,000 cume

• Smooth FM around the country had 2.7 million listeners
• Smooth FM 95.3 is #2 FM station in Sydney with 10.6% share
• Smooth FM Brisbane is the most listened-to DAB+ station with 98,000 listeners
• Smooth FM Adelaide is the most listened to DAB+ radio station with 45,000 listeners (up 2,000 cume)
• Smooth FM Perth is the most listened to DAB+ station in Perth with 106,000 listeners (up 1000)

Mediaweek’s results and analysis for GfK Survey 7, 2023

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