New platforms key to 4KQ's resurgence: Laurel Edwards | radioinfo

New platforms key to 4KQ's resurgence: Laurel Edwards

Sunday 14 July, 2019

Laurel Edwards has been on air in Briabane for over 25 years and has seen the ups and downs of that radio market, so when she offers an opinion it's worth taking notice of.

Speaking from her mid-year break in Hawaii, Edwards told the Brisbane Courier Mail (subscription required) that she puts the resurgence of 4KQ down to the ability for listeners to now hear the AM station on new digital devices, levelling the playing field with FM station.
 
As we reported last week, 4KQ jumped to number two position in the market and its breakfast show gained 1.3 share points in its timeslot,

 

Edwards says digital radio and the fact that the station is now available on streaming apps such as iHeartRadio and RadioApp had resulted in a “more honest way of listening.”

“It’s a different world, it’s incredible – it’s no longer just FM, it’s becoming so much broader... It’s a level the playing field,” she said.
 

Edwards credits the new platforms, plus "the team’s passion for music and willingness to embrace their 'daggy' side as key to their success."

 

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Anthony The Koala
14 July 2019 - 10:27am
This demonstrates that it is possible for an AM music station to rate. I have commented elsewhere that DAB is the "levelling the playing field" for AM and FM stations and that it has been done with 2CH (Sydney). I have also said that 2CH has the best quality DAB signal amongst all AM (except 2GB (talk) @ 128kbs) and FM stations including its 'closest' rivals Smooth (2PTV) and WSFM (2UUS).

However 2CH has been consistently rating at around 3.4%-3.6%. It has never recovered from it's beautiful music/elevator music/Muzak format from 1987 where it topped the ratings beating FM. Again proof of an AM music station topping the ratings.

While I do believe is that there is a saturation of stations of the classic hits or CA or CHR with a classic hits/oldies particularly in the Sydney market. I mentioned this on this site about the Newcastle-based internet station 2UW targeting oldies, the oldies market may well be shrinking as time passes in a similar way the oldies market may well be shrinking for 2CH.

What to do? One could utilise a 'moving window' of what you define as classic hits. In the eighties, it was the 50s, 60s and 70s. In the 90s, it was the 70s, 80s and 90s. If you follow the pattern for each decade the earliest decade is dropped. So in the future say 2030, the "classic hits" will be the music of the 2010s, 2020s and 2030s. That is 'approximately' the model used by 2UW then Mix106.5 (2WFM) and Kiis (2WFM). You could also say something similar with 2Day (2Day) that is more contemporary and rhythmic. But somehow 2Day (2Day) has a 1990s tinge.

But if you want to funnel oldies/classics into an easy listening format such as 2CH it is going to get more difficult. For example JJ and JJJ in the 80s some of the music covered included music from Annie Lennox, UB40, Tim Finn and Skyhooks. Today they would be regarded as classic hits. But listen today to JJJ and FBi, it would be hard to find which hits would be the easy listening classic hits of tomorrow.

I doubt the aged-care facilities in the 2050s the patients/clients will be singing "Long Way To Tipperary" and "Roll Out The Barrell". Perhaps they'll be singing "I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

Sorry I digress about the logical extent of popular music in the future.

If a radio station wants to create a niche of easy listening music, don't rely on classic hits. There are other contemporary artists that are popular but don't get airplay but at the same time are easy listening. For example, Dianna Krall, Eliane Elias, Emma Pask, Tom Burlinson, Josh Groban. Why not Andre Rieu and other light classical music. That could also include 'classic hits' easy listening music. Why not Percy Faith, James Last, Bert Kaempfert and Sergio Mendes?

As I said elsewhere on this site, the market must be tested without any confirmation bias by management. Perhaps management might consider extending the duration of a song. Instead of the three minute or "radio edit" version of a song, perhaps test whether people like slightly longer versions.

Thank you
Anthony of really exciting and really dynamic Belfield.
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