With the fifth GfK radio ratings survey being released this week, we are now officially over the halfway mark of radio ratings season. As always, Mediaweek speaks to radio bosses around the country to provide insights into their station’s performances. First up is Nine Radio’s head of content, Greg Byrnes.
The radio ratings survey revealed that Nine Radio’s 2GB and 3AW retained their positions as the top stations in Sydney and Melbourne respectively, as well as being number one in the breakfast and morning dayparts.
Melbourne’s 3AW recorded its highest ever Survey 5 cume and grew overall share to 16.7% (up 2.1), with Breakfast duo Ross and Russ recording a 23% share (up 3.2), and Neil Mitchell having 20% (up 3.0).
Sydney’s 2GB recorded an 11.8% share, with Ben Fordham Live posting 14.6% in Breakfast, and The Ray Hadley Morning Show recording 12.8% – the 151st consecutive survey win for Hadley.
“There’s been there’s been some lineup changes on 6PR as there has been on 4BC,” said Byrnes. “Having stability in those markets is great but if you look at the 6PR breakfast result, it’s particularly pleasing.”
Nine’s talk stations recorded a 2.5% increase in cume on Survey 4 and had the top cumulative streaming audience, up 2.2% across the network on Survey 4.
“Streaming audio just puts us on a level playing field as far as audio quality,” said Byrnes. “Then you get the accessibility, so it’s a good story to tell.”
The importance of sport
Byrnes pointed to the seasonal effect of sport as one reason for his station’s results, pointing to the beneficial timing of winter sports, the NRL and AFL.
“When we are a week out from the NRL and AFL finals, that is a particularly good time to broadcast those sports. That very much plays into our live and local strategy with not just live commentary across the network, but also the discussion points around each of the codes.
“The 3AW result today is quite extraordinary. 3AW is Melbourne and AFL is Melbourne and they both work very well together. It’s a very exciting AFL competition with some strong landmark AFL teams doing well in Melbourne and that plays well to our audience.”
The fact that Nine both owns the television broadcast rights for the NRL as well as commercial AM broadcast rights allows for synergies according to Byrnes.
“It certainly gets us some wonderful access to talent across the board. Mathew Thompson, Paul Gallen and Allana Ferguson all feature prominently on the Continuous Call Team. Brad Fittler and Billy Slater have contributed to our Wide World of Sports programs and Peter Psaltis is a leading NRL caller on Nine and hosts Wide World of Sports for us in Brisbane.”
Nine Radio’s Key Demographic?
When asked what demographic Nine Radio is targeting specifically, Byrnes pointed to where he thinks the audience sweet spot is for Nine.
“We’re going hard for 35-64. That’s quite a wide demo but that befits our audience. You only need to listen to talk back to hear we get a wide variety of opinion and comment across the board. We feel that that’s our hitting zone, 35-64.
“I think we are gender neutral. If a programme is predominantly sport, you would think that it’s going to have a male bias to it. If you listen to football coverage on the weekend, there are plenty of female callers who have very strong opinions about their football teams. We would never say that we’re targeting one particular gender. When we’re creating content, we’re not going after one in particular, the nature of the content is what is relevant to the community at that time and that’s what we’re always aiming to deliver.”
How important is beating Kyle & Jackie O
When asked how important the radio ratings rivalry between Ben Fordham and Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O is, Byrnes said that being #1 makes the early alarm worth it.
“It’s bragging rights certainly for the shows themselves. They all have terrible alarm clocks. If you’re putting in that sort of effort, a commercial result is imperative. I know the teams are looking at the results very keenly on days like today, and it’s always very pleasing to come out as number one.”