ARN’s future radio talent to come from podcasting
The radio stars of tomorrow at the Australian Radio Network (ARN) will be sourced from its expanding podcasting network, according to the company’s chief content officer, Duncan Campbell.
And despite insisting he wants a stable year across his on-air talent network, Campbell did say he would be looking at its podcast lineup as soon as this year.
‘There’s obviously a lot going on in radio and obviously as we move towards a digital future, podcasting and streaming – they have their own challenges – but they are in many ways exciting, because we’ll be looking this year at our podcast repertoire and looking at talent, podcasting talent, and seeing whether we can place any of those on the network,” he told Radio Today. “I think the future talent for radio will come from podcasting, so we have to have some plans in place for that this year.”
Where these podcasters may go in terms of radio, however, remains unclear, as Campbell said he’s hoping for a consistent year, following a shakeup in Perth and a dip in Brisbane in Survey 8 of last year, which appears to have corrected in the most recent ratings.
“I think we’re in for a consistent year… We’ve got some of the best talent in Australian radio, obviously, and consistency is what we aim for. And the talent has signed medium to long-term, which is great, so I’d like a consistent year,” he said.
“We will have our challenges, obviously. I think you can’t rest on your laurels in this business, and you’re only as good as your last survey, as they say, but we’re very happy to be kicking off 2021 as the #1 FM network in the country, so I’d like a consistent year. That would be pretty good.”
In addition to the challenges the network will face in Brisbane and Perth, ARN will be keeping a close eye on the performance of Jase & PJ in the Breakfast slot on KIIS Melbourne.
Campbell has previously flagged his disappointment that the show has been unable to deliver consistent ratings, but has continued to back the program.
In Survey 1, the show was up 0.8 points to 6.2%, which Campbell said “we’ll take” in light of its previous, lower, results.
“Look, we’ll take 6.2, thank you – certainly given the last 12 to 24 months,” he said. “But that’s a good result, really, but they can do better than that… So [I’m] very happy for them and we’ve all been listening to that show, and no one’s criticised it terribly much. The content’s strong and I’ve always said we’d wait and give that show the chance it needed, as long as it needed, until the audience got to know them, and that seems to be happening slowly.
“We need a trend though, I’m always big on that. One book doesn’t make a trend, but certainly it’s a positive start to the year, which is great.”
He also once again flagged there were exciting plans in the works for iHeartRadio Australia, without being drawn on what they may be.