Smoothfm pledges marketing push as CEO reveals only 30% of listeners know it is on air

smoothfmDMG’s new light music network smoothfm is to get a marketing boost, the CEO of the radio company has pledged.

Cathy O’Connor, CEO of DMG, made the comments at a party in Sydney to mark the first anniversary of smoothfm which is on FM in Sydney and Melbourne and on digital radio elsewhere. She conceded that only 30 per cent of potential listeners are aware the station exists and pledged to up marketing spend. Since launch the network has had only minimal marketing.

The network – the brainchild of programming director Paul Jackson – replaced the short-lived Classic Rock which in turn replaced Vega.

Cathy O'Connor DMGO’Connor said: “Let’s face it, we’d had a couple of cracks up until this point. We knew that only a really focused and different concept was going to cut through.”

She added: “What we know from our research is that only 30 per cent of the broader listening audience in Sydney and Melbourne actually know that Smooth is on the air, yet we have a five per cent share of the market, 5.7 per cent share in Melbourne. Those that stumble onto the radio station absolutely love it .”

“We think our biggest opportunity is to try to draw more awareness around that fact that these radio stations are now on the air. So you can expect from our company a lot more of a commitment to marketing , you’ll see us advertising, you’ll see us absolutely supporting this station. We know when the message gets out there you have a very high conversion to loyal listeners.”

O’Connor also revealed that the brand is being extended beyond radio, including a forthcoming wine club.

She said: “We have on our hands here a brand that is not only appealing to our target audience but has the potential to be a lot more than radio. And if you have a look on the smoothfm  website, things like smooth travel, smooth fitness… smooth wine club is coming, we think this whole concept – a place where people can unwind and switch off from the pace of city life – is a powerful concept.

“What we do know about the smooth listeners.. is that they are an incredibly saleable audience. We are seeing some listeners from talk radio and even from the ABC come to smooth because of that differentiation.”

Tim Burrowes


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