Sounding off: The Rock rumbles on

As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we’ve asked a few of the company’s programme directors about the performance of their brands, the state of radio and the importance of digital channels. And, despite a dearth of good rock music and the encroaching mainstream appeal of hip hop and electronic music, The Rock is still luring plenty of listeners, says Brad King.   

In keeping with tradition, there was much revelry among the team at The Rock last Friday to honour the release of the T2 radio survey. And the survey, the first this year to have buy-in from all industry players and incorporate e-diaries and new research methodology, shows the rock music format is still going strong in New Zealand. 

The station had a strong showing in ratings across the board, holding top spots both in time spent listening in the lucrative 25-54-year-old category and in station share for households with kids, and the number two spot for share of all commercial listening for audiences 10+. It was also one of just a few brands (along with MediaWorks’ More FM) to grow its listener numbers from last year, going from 288,000 to 302,500 in all 10+ (from 12mn to 12mn). 

  • Check out all the results from the T2 survey here

Q. What’s behind The Rock’s strong showing in this year’s survey? 

The Rock had a very solid result nationwide. It’s cliché, but consistency across this year played a big part. We had a number of changes throughout 2014 across the board. Quite often it takes at least six months before you see any impact, so naturally stoked to see some strong increases in Q3 this year.

Q. Rock music ain’t what it used to be. And the playlists aren’t changing too much. How did you overcome that? 

That’s an understatement. A strong rock cycle has a massive impact on attracting 10+ cume; when the cycle ain’t there, the focus simply has to change to content, content, content.

The Full Eighty NZ vs Georgia

Mike from Rock Nights puts his spin on the frustrating NZ vs Georgia game in The Full Eighty, cheers to KFC.

Posted by The Rock on Friday, October 2, 2015

Q.  How much of the growth has been driven by digital listenership? And how important a part of the future growth strategy does digital play? 

Digital is key. Radio stations are brands and brands have to live across multiple platforms. Our digital strategy played a huge part in the recent success.

Q. Like many stations, many of The Rock DJs have a big social media presence. How important is it that DJs are facilitating conversations with fans on social media and how much of it is now an expected part of the job?

For sure, talent know and understand exactly how crucial social media is. The connection talent now has with their audience via social plays a vital role in building a stronger relationship.

Q. And how important are Jono and Ben to the station’s success? 

​Jono and Ben, along with The Morning Rumble, played a huge part. Given the rock music cycle is not in our favour, content shows simply have to deliver. And both shows did that spectacularly well.

  • This story is part of a content partnership with MediaWorks. 

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