edition 15: oct 2 2003
who listens to the radio?
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.  Add a colleague to the p3 news mail list, people@p3.com.au
radio reservations 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. Ratings Success 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 areas.) Revenue Revue 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 limiting dilemma. 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. Remember them…? P3Media has the experience and expertise to provide you with independent third party advice on your media stategy and buying processes. To discuss benchmarking your more significant marketing investment or for more information, contact media@p3.com.au
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