ARN's Duncan Campbell on Kyle & Jackie O's survey 3 setback

Jason Pollock
By Jason Pollock | 5 June 2024
Duncan Campbell

Kyle & Jackie O, the breakfast radio duo who ARN re-signed to a 10-year deal in November last year, have lost share in both the Sydney and Melbourne markets, according to Survey 3 radio ratings results for 2024 from GfK.

In Sydney, KIIS1065 - the station Kyle & Jackie O are on - fell to 10.3 from 11.0, while their show's individual share dropped to 14.7 from 16.1.

In Melbourne, where they began broadcasting on air at the end of April, KIIS 101.1 FM's share dropped to 5.7 from 6.2, while Kyle & Jackie O's breakfast share also dropped half a point to 5.9 from 6.4.

ARN's chief content officer, Duncan Campbell, said that in both cases it's important to consider the context around the results.

"In Sydney, they had a very, very strong year last year off the back of Kyle's wedding and lots of activity, which gave them a huge boost. They might be softening a little bit, but they're still very, very strong," he told AdNews.

"The surveys do ebb and flow so unless you see a real downward trend, it's more about that overall strong position they hold. They’re still number one in FM and within striking distance of Ben Fordham on 2GB, which is the battle that's going on at the moment between those two. We're still very, very happy with that performance."

ARN's CEO Ciaran Davis, speaking to AdNews back when Kyle & Jackie O's deal was announced, said that launching the show in Melbourne was "going to be a challenge and it's going to take a lot of hard work by everybody involved".

Campbell said that even if the result in the Victorian capital had been flat, it would have been a good result.

"That market has been disturbed with a change in NOVA’s breakfast show this year and a change in the KIIS breakfast show. We know from experience that when you change even a member of a breakfast show that the market gets disrupted," he said.

"In the three out of 10 weeks that they've been on air in Melbourne, that audience has been churning, so hopefully, that'll now settle and we'll now build on that; from next survey, it's eight out of 10 weeks they’ll be on air and then August is the full result.

"We've had a very solid strategy in place and we're executing on that. We still remain very positive about Melbourne and let's see what happens as those results present themselves on July 9."

Looking more broadly at the radio market, Campbell said it's a very short market at the moment, which makes forecasting very challenging. SMI numbers for April show that radio advertising spend is down 5.7%.

"All three networks' [ARN, NOVA and SCA] focus will be on digital revenues and streaming, but I think that radio needs to do a better job of selling itself, because there’s still big audiences being attracted to radio and we're all focusing on improving digital through podcasting, DAB and streaming, through the apps that we've got and platforms like iHeart and LISTNR," he told AdNews.

"It is a challenging year for radio; I know all three networks are under stress revenue-wise, but I think the general view is that the second half looks like being stronger than the first. Revenue won't return to pre-COVID numbers I don't think but certainly we can do a lot better in terms of selling the benefits of radio and getting a bigger slice of the pie."

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