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Nine in talks with ITV about Love Island season two, as programming boss rejects claims show was a failure

Nine is considering its options for Love Island Australia season two, after significant learnings the first time around and a concerted effort to tell the market the show was a success.

Despite initial media reports the show was a disaster which failed to deliver on expectations – in terms of reception and audience – programming director Hamish Turner told Mumbrella: “I know exactly what the expectations were for the show, and we delivered exactly what we thought we would on 16 to 39s in the linear space.”

Love Island was a success, insists Hamish Turner

Turner conceded, however, that there are some things he would do differently if he had his time again.

“We always modify our approach once the shows go to air and there’s always key learnings, especially when you go into a first season,” he told Mumbrella. “I think there’s things we would do editorially different, there’s things we would do from a promotional perspective different – but overall… the audience, actually the way they consume… that’s definitely key learnings for us in terms of what we would do to apply to a second season.

“There’s always learnings in TV [and] I think on these types of shows when you’re doing something which is fundamentally new and a new approach, that’s the great thing. You learn things, you apply them, and then you move on.”

The admission that things could have been done better, however, was not the same as admitting the show was a flop, he said, and other networks would do well to heed the lessons from Love Island Australia.

“We all watch what each other does, and especially with something like Love Island which was definitely a new approach to audiences. I’m sure they [the other networks] kept a very keen eye [on it]… They’ve been watching it pretty closely,” he said.

Turner: We’ve learned a lot from Love Island

“We did this with an audience-first approach… and it’s provided us with a bit of a blueprint with how we approach especially those younger demos initially, and what they’re doing and how they’re consuming content. And I think if they’re keen on entering that space, and especially targeting those 16 to 39 audiences, then I’m sure they’ll adapt some of those techniques.”

The approach to Love Island was the first step in Nine’s three to five-year plan, Turner said, and the best thing to come from it was the “explosion” of numbers on steaming and catch-up service 9Now.

He said the service – which requires users to sign in – had 6m subscribers before Love Island, which had now climbed to 6.5m.

“The live VPM was actually a really pleasant surprise,” he added, “but I think generally just that digital exposure and what we’ve learnt from that is the best outtake for us. And just how they were within the social domain. It just continues to explode. I don’t know what the last number was – about 1.4m new followers to the Islanders’ accounts, at last count – but I noticed overnight they’re still growing by three to 5,000 a day,” he said.

The show premiered in May with a preliminary overnight metro audience of 155,000 on 9Go, and a further 246,000 tuning in for the encore on the main channel shortly after.

The first episode of the series has now surpassed 300,000 views on 9Now, Nine said.

The finale, which aired late last week, had a preliminary overnight metro audience of 197,000, with 25,700 live streams on 9Now. So far, the episode has been viewed 111,000 times by catch-up viewers.

Nine said the show’s cross-platform audience now averaged 511,000 across television and digital. In addition, the show helped 9Go increase its exposure to the 16 to 39 demographic, Nine said. Combined OzTAM and Regional TAM 28-day consolidated data for the 8:30pm to 9:30pm timeslot, show pre-launch the station was averaging 48,425 16 to 39 year olds, which has now soared 164% to an average of 127,659.

Turner insisted these numbers would continue to grow.

“The story only grows past the finale,” he said.

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