By James Manning
• Radio boss Ciaran Davis tells market to calm down about Hamish and Andy
During a short and punchy presentation about the Australian Radio Network, chief executive Ciaran Davis spoke about the broadcaster’s plans for iHeartRadio and the importance of the radio network being live and local. “We are also going to see a lot more from ARN in the event business – experiences that money can’t buy. There will be more commercialisation opportunities for agencies and their clients. Mobile, social and digital are all important for radio and we are taking them a stage further and integrating them into our FM radio. We will continue to invest in talent because it is critical we remain number one. We promise we will continue to invest in marketing our brands and we know that because we are number one we will be advertisers’ first choice.”
Davis then reminded the audience about the KIIS network – the Sydney and Melbourne KIIS stations, Brisbane’s 97.3 and Adelaide’s Mix 102.3 plus Perth 96FM which is now owned and sold by ARN.
That was the segue for Davis to talk about drive and the very competitive space it has become. “We are very pleased with Hughesy and Kate who have come on board – 1.36m audience and a 10.1% share. They are very strong in Melbourne and they are strong in other markets where they weren’t quite as well known. For us the drive market is critically important.
“It is a very different competitive landscape to 2010 when Hamish and Andy were on. They were the only networked drive show in the market in those days. Today there are four very good ones – Triple M, KIIS, Nova and soon Hamish and Andy.
“Drive accounts for about 12% of overall listening. Even if Hamish and Andy could do the share they did in 2010, which I doubt because they are up against three other national shows, the overall impact will not be as great, or the silver bullet, that some people want. The strength of any drive show anywhere in the world is driven by breakfast. The Hamish and Andy show in Sydney will have about 60% of the audience they had in 2010. Whatever you hear about how strong Hamish and Andy are going to be, ARN and Nova and Triple M will be fighting very hard to make sure that share doesn’t come back.
“We are very happy with the drive show we have got and we are about to announce a major sponsorship. I am delighted Hamish and Andy are coming on board because a rising tide does lift all boats. But I promise you the drive show won’t be the silver bullet some people want it to be.”