Hamish and Andy top Melbourne but rivals point to “failed” Sydney result

By Sarah Homewood and Rachael Micallef | 29 September 2015
Hamish Blake and Andy Lee

Southern Cross Austereo's gamble on Hamish and Andy has paid off in Melbourne, with the duo topping the FM audience figures, but radio rivals say the duo have “failed” in Sydney.

Hamish and Andy gained 2.5 percentage points in their home town of Melbourne, growing to 12.8% audience share. However in Sydney the pair hit 6.8% audience share, putting them in the middle of the pack.

Southern Cross Austereo's Hit network head Dave Cameron told AdNews the network is thrilled with the Melbourne figures, but said the Sydney numbers are the result of a slow lead in from breakfast with Dan and Maz.

“Their march to the top is pretty exciting for us,” Cameron said. “I wouldn’t say we're happy with the Sydney result but it has nothing to do with Hamish and Andy and nothing to do with the show.

“When you have a look at the result of Hamish and Andy around the country, it's only matter of time before Hamish and Andy are number one in that market, and it's going to come when the breakfast show gets momentum.

“That breakfast show remains a challenge for us … but we think we're doing the right thing by it, still creating something that is fresher and more interesting in that market and we're pretty committed.”

Cameron said that the network is going to give the show the time it needs to boost ratings, noting that it is still less than 12 months in the market against big heritage shows.

However Australian Radio Network national content director Duncan Campbell said that “Hamish and Andy have failed in Sydney”.

“They've failed to have any impact at all really,” Campbell said. “It's effectively a broken station so there is a lot to do there. And it's a tale of two cities because Hamish and Andy have done really well in Melbourne and Fox has had an exception survey as a result of Hamish and Andy being on air. But certainly in Sydney, the impact has been minimal.”

“The impact 10 + [total audience] hasn't been there and at the end of the day, advertisers buy by 10+.”

Group programme director for Nova Entertainment, Paul Jackson agreed noting Nova's strong performance in Sydney and that it's still winning convincingly against the comedy duo.

“You've seen the numbers,” he said. “We've got a 9.5 share and they've got 6.8 and they’ve thrown everything at it, I'm sure you've see their marketing and the hype and the talk and we still win convincingly.”

While Hamish and Andy are doing well in Melbourne, Jackson isn't perturbed saying:
“That's their home town, that's where they used to do a 22% share, so we're talking roughly half their number. It's an okay number for them, it's decent, it's not dominant, I feel good about our number in Melbourne today.”

Campbell said that Melbourne for ARN's Kiis station is “a separate case.” In today's survey Kiis in Melbourne dropped across the day parts, with a 5.7% audience share in breakfast.

“We're very aware there are issues with Kiis in Melbourne,” Campbell said. “It's a disappointing result and we have plans in place to correct that, which we will be unfolding over the coming months.

While Campbell remained tight lipped on what those changes were he said that they will ensure 2016 is a better year for Kiis in Melbourne.

“We've had a wholesale look at the station – every aspect of it – and those changes aren't isolated to one part of the radio station.”

Last survey easy listening channel SmoothFM rose to the top of the of the book and Jackson explained that its strong position again this survey shows that it wasn't just a one time effort from the network rather a position that its going to stay in.

“I appreciate many people said, and were slightly cynical about the performance and were saying it was a bit of a fluke or a bit of a one off – to have two in a row now I don't think anyone could deny that's Smooths real position and it's done brilliantly,” he said.

Jackson was happy with Smooth's and Nova's performance overall, nothing that moving into the last two surveys of the year the station was just going to keep on doing what it has been doing all along.

“As we move into summer time, traditionally a particularly strong time of year for all the Nova stations, we have good plans in place for output and what we're doing, so bring it on,” he said.

SCA other's station Triple M slipped slightly in day parts across Sydney and Melbourne, despite it still being a football survey.

Triple M content director Mike Fitzpatrick said the drops were related to additional factors and that he “certainly wasn't concerned”.

“With a time spent listening [TSL] format like Triple M we don’t' have high cumes so we rely purely on TSL and the methodology doesn't favour TSL, so our figures can bounce around a bit.

“We had some correction with female demos that we probably shouldn’t have had last books, so I'm certainly not concerned.

“With a format like this I look at trends over an 8 survey period and not survey to survey. We're still the number one network 25-54 year old across the country.”

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