who listens to the
Have you heard
the amount of on-air activity from Commercial Radio
Australia promoting radio as a more effective media for
reaching people, especially grocery buyers, during the day? I really
like the one having a dig at "Brand Consultants" who
develop a strategy and then make the television ad because
they make more money from television production. But
what is happening in radio land? Mark Chesterfield from
P3Media gives us an overview.
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Over recent times, the new
NOVA network of stations has become somewhat
celebrated in the radio market through its very strong
ratings performance built over a short period of time and
its markedly different advertising sales strategy.
Touted as 'the alternative' to
traditional commercial scheduling techniques where 13-15 minutes of
advertising per hour in blocks of 4-6 commercial messages is the
norm, NOVA guaranteed limited total commercial airtime and a maximum
of 2 ads per break.
Almost immediately after their
launch, the NOVA stations made strong inroads into the
heartland of archrival Austereo, shaking up the
traditional market shares dramatically. In fact, the latest Nielsen
survey has been the first since their launch to show any
signs of slippage with the NOVA stations in Sydney and
Melbourne losing some overall share back to the DAY/FOX Austereo
competition. (They are still strong in their core 18-24 demographic
and competitive 10-17 and 25-39 but have slipped backwards in most
But in some ways, their very success has become their Achilles heel
since pressure on their limited airtime promise and the
unique 2 ads per break format has created its own problem.
The move by many advertisers to shorter length commercials in
television has started to flow into radio and although there is a
'premium' on a per-second basis for less than 30 seconds, the
constraints they have imposed on themselves sees NOVA with a revenue
What price 'exclusivity'?
Market feedback suggests that
NOVA are backing away from shorter length
commercials and this may signal an opportunity for the
competition to step up to the plate. It remains to be seen whether
advertisers who choose to communicate with their youth markets using
the short, sharp messages that this audience seems ready and willing
to assimilate will be prepared to make special, longer material for
the privilege of being part of NOVA's 'uncluttered' format.
Ratings aside - and they do make a fairly compelling case - it
behoves NOVA to keep a weather eye on the market and its needs and to
respond in a reasonable commercial fashion. It's amazing how the 'big
wheel turns' and advertisers have long memories. Just ask 2SM.
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