DMG finally smiling with second station SmoothFM

By By David Blight | 7 August 2012

DMG's newly rebranded SmoothFM has seen a strong ratings jump in both its Melbourne and Sydney markets, following a prolonged period of poor ratings for the broadcaster's second station strategy.

In the latest Nielsen radio survey, which measured ratings between Sunday 6 May and Saturday 28 July and was the first full survey for SmoothFM, the Sydney station jumped 0.7 percentage points to take 4.8% of the market's audience share. In Melbourne, the station jumped 0.6 points to 4.7% share.

In both markets, SmoothFM saw the largest jump.

The broadcaster revealed the launch of SmoothFM in Sydney and Melbourne in May of this year, in an attempt to tap into the easy listening format and inject a boost into DMG's struggling second stations, which were constantly being rebranded due to struggling ratings.

The stations were branded as Vega until early 2010, when they saw audience share of just 3.4% in Sydney and 3.7% in Melbourne in the final set of ratings. The stations were then relaunched as Classic Rock, but ratings remained well below the 4% mark.

About a year ago, DMG cut the Classic Rock moniker and moved to the names Sydney's 95.3FM and Melbourne's 91.5FM, as the network worked to create a new brand positioning. Finally, DMG released the SmoothFM name, and it seems the rebrand is now showing results.

DMG group programme director Paul Jackson told AdNews: “We're just delighted. These are spectacular results, and they show that SmoothFM is the station with momentum. Keep in mind, this is just ten weeks in.

“I think moving forward we'll see some great results, and I think the upside will be long term with some great numbers over the next two to three years. But to do this well in such a short amount of time is extraordinary.”

Meanwhile, the highest rating program in the Sydney market was once again Macquarie Radio Network's 2GB, with 15.2% audience share.

In Melbourne, Fairfax Radio's 3AW took the top spot with 15% share.

The Brisbane radio market saw DMG's Nova come home with the highest ratings, despite dropping 1.7 points to 12.1%.

In Adelaide, DMG's 5AA had 15.4% audience share and was the highest rating station in that market.

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