Nova Entertainment’s Paul Jackson pleased with first survey of 2022

Nova Entertainment group programme director chats to Mumbrella's Anna Macdonald about the first radio survey results, the range of audio options for listeners, and what challenges Nova foresees for 2022.

For the first GfK radio ratings of 2022, Nova Entertainment’s group program director Paul Jackson is pleased with the outcome.

On Nova’s performance for Survey 1 Jackson says: “It went very well. Having been around enough years, we’ve had some ups and downs for Survey 1. The first part of the survey period is school holiday time still, and then you get into the back-to-school with teens. So it can be a two-part survey in that regard. All the Nova stations are at a very solid to extremely strong performance across the board.”

Nova Entertainment group programme director Paul Jackson

Jackson continues: “It feels like we’re getting back to normal maybe in the last few weeks… I wonder if we’ll see the ratings settle down to exactly how they might have been a few years ago. I still think that’s playing into it as it, basically not everyone back at work, so some of the patterns of listening might be different from what they were in Survey 1.”

Nova’s metro network had a cume (cumulative audience) of 3,696,300 for this survey period. Nova106.9 was back on top in Brisbane.

With past discussion on radio ratings being affected by COVID and lockdowns, current world events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine may also change listening patterns.

“There’s so much audio to listen to,” says Jackson. “My favourite station might be Smooth, I [might] use a bit of Nova for some news… [in addition to] the podcasts that I use. Generally, we’re probably seeing a ‘look back in time’ when larger audio consumption became a thing. Within that, radio cume is actually as high as it’s been historically… podcasts are on the rise, audio consumption’s on the rise… I think people might get their news sometimes from a global news podcast as much as they might get it from their local station as well. Definitely more of that has emerged as people are more aware of their choices.”

On the greater range of audio choices, Jackson says: “It’s up to each of those stations, then, to suggest to people, when you fancy a change from radio, here are your options. Brand loyalty, and having a strong brand that’s clearly defined, [that] will be more important than ever.”

Looking ahead to 2022, Jackson feels Nova’s greatest strength is in its entertainment offering: “You can give the audiences fun, good times, give them a laugh. Yeah. It’s a place to escape. You get into the world of any of our breakfast shows or Kate, Tim & Joel at drive and our personalities and entertainment shine through… I think we’ve got to be positive and be a bit of an escape.”

Providing an avenue for escapism, though, is not without its challenges, which Jackson acknowledges: “The climate of everything going on in the world… there’s elections and everything coming up.  Equally, it’s the same side of the coin, the challenge is delivering that well. For the presenters, and the motivation that they need to have every day to hit the right tone. It’s very important as well. That’s going to be key for us to be able to deliver that kind of good-time escapism.”

Jackson continues: “We’re in a music market as well, because we’ve not really been festivals and tours for the last couple of years, where’s there’s not so many emerging new artists. It’s not the peak of the brilliant pop music cycle either. Looking forward to later this year, I think we’re awash with tours… there’ll be lots of festivals back and new artists emerging. The new cycle will come along.”


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