Radio Ratings: ARN’s Duncan Campbell on the biggest success stories of survey six

arn radio ratings

Plus: The station bounce back that exceeded Campbell’s expectations

The end is in sight for the 2023 radio ratings year, with the sixth survey results released last week.

See Also: Radio Ratings 2023, Survey 6: Highlights + Full Results

Mediaweek spoke with ARN’s chief content officer Duncan Campbell, to discuss the survey highlights and what the rest of the year will look like for ARN.

Survey six saw a number of bouncebacks for ARN, and Campbell said that this time around, “we’re very happy after not being as happy last time.”

It comes down to having faith and belief in the strategy, which we always have done. I suspected we’d bounce back in this book, we put a lot of work into executing the strategy in markets like Brisbane and Melbourne, etc. I was confident that Gold would bounce back and it has done, exceeding my expectations. 

“It’s a very good day for us, we’re back to the number one network excluding DAB, and we have good 25-54 numbers.”

One of the biggest success stories of survey six was KIIS FM 97.3 in Brisbane, with the station lifting from fifth commercial station to second in the market over just two surveys.

Ali Longhurst is the content director there, she’s executed the strategy really well, and there’s a very strong story arc around talent,” said Campbell.

“It’s really paid dividends and they’ve had very good growth in 25-54s as well. The station is number two in Brisbane again, which is great because we’ve been around the four and five times which has not been great commercially. That will give our commercial colleagues a lot of confidence.

Kip Wightman

KIIS FM 97.3’s Robin, Terry & Kip

In Melbourne, Gold FM’s Christian O’Connell returns to top FM breakfast after briefly losing the title to Fox FM. 

“Gold as a station is probably the highlight – it’s the highest cume station in the country, and it’s the best ever cume for Christian O’Connell. Sue Carter, Jason Staveley, and the gang down there have done a great job. I think we had a bit of a jolt in the last book, and we focused very much on execution after that. 

“To be honest, I felt that we didn’t have a product issue down there, it was more a marketing issue. We didn’t have the firepower that we normally have to get a decent share of voice, which helps us neutralise the heavy marketing that SCA and Nova traditionally do. But Gold has come back very strong, which is fantastic.”

When it comes to what is driving the results from survey six, Campbell said that content has been the bedrock of everything that ARN does. 

Kyle and Jackie O have very strong content, Christian O’Connell has always had strong content, plus daytimes across Gold and KIIS have been very strong. 

“I think there’s a temptation, sometimes, in radio to do a lot of stuff. My preference is less is more, and make sure that the less you do is amplified and you get credit for it.”

With two surveys left, Campbell said that the ARN team are working to finish 2023 “with a lot of wind in our sails.”

“The momentum from this book will serve us well. I’d like to see Kyle and Jackie O maintain a lead over Ben Fordham on 2GB – I think that’d be a good victory for us. For Christian, I think he will continue to be number one down there. With a bit of luck and continued execution of the strategy, we might get number one in Brisbane which would be amazing.”

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