SWOT: ... Ready For It, Melbourne?

A turf war is almost underway in Melbourne, and it's threatening the legacy of one of Australia's highest-paid power couples.
SWOT: ... Ready For It, Melbourne?
Photo by Jacob Hodgson / Unsplash

Welcome to SWOT by Sound Story, your weekly inside track on the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats looming for the entertainment industry.

⚡️ Trending: Aus music dealt a 'devastating blow' on ABC local radio. Words by Stephen Green. Source: TheMusic.com.au.

🌏 Global: Instagram and Threads will quit recommending political content. Words by Todd Spangler. Source: Variety.

💰 Money: Seven’s 40% earnings drop ‘reflects the weakness in advertising markets’. Words by Nathan Jolly. Source: Mumbrella.

🌶️ Spicy: Pink invited to go sailing after being denied entry to Manly club. Words by Jessica McSweeney. Source: SMH.

📰 Media: Radio Ratings claim first breakfast victim before Survey 1, 2024 release. Words by James Manning. Source: Mediaweek.

Strength: Music's Loyal Influence

No Aussie hits atop the charts. Festivals falling from grace. There aren't a lot of great headlines about the local music industry to be found of late, but that doesn't mean music's impact on influencing consumers has waned. At least not according to a new Driving Loyalty study by Live Nation, which claims that three-quarters of Aussies and Kiwis would join loyalty programs for music perks.

👉 77% of responses, collected from individuals aged 18-54, indicated that they felt valued by companies when enrolled in a loyalty program, with 94% perceiving such programs as money-saving endeavours.

👉 91% were already members of retail loyalty programs, followed closely by 59% in fast food chains, with a third redeeming rewards every week. Additionally, 57% participate in clothing apparel programs and 55% in travel-related schemes.

👉 Globally, 67% of music enthusiasts regard live music events as the setting for some of their most memorable moments, with two-thirds associating their emotions with the brands, products, and services encountered at such events.

👉 Live Nation Australasia's Kirsty Rosser, said that introducing music perks into a loyalty program is "a surefire way" to boost customer engagement and retention: "With so many epic live music experiences coming up in 2024, there’s never been a better time to engage customers with music.”

Weakness: A Radio Revolution, or Revolt?

A turf war is almost underway in Melbourne, and it's threatening the legacy of one of Australia's highest-paid power couples — KIIS FM's Kyle & Jackie O. This week came the news that Lachlan Murdoch's rival radio network Nova had recruited Jase & Lauren to front its Melbourne Breakfast show. The duo, who arrive from KIIS 101.1 after falling victim to a game of radio roulette, will soon go up against Sydney's K&J as they prepare to syndicate their show to Melbourne.

In a move that just about nobody saw coming, it will take at least a few surveys to reveal the city's early morning appetite. But, in the meantime, it's left the Sound Story team wondering if the people of Melbourne are even ready for a Sydney breakfast show to accompany the commute to work:

📌 Jake Challenor: Melbourne might not be ready, but Kyle & Jackie O most certainly are. These two have been lobbying ARN bosses and trade media for a move into Melbourne for years, even telling this writer in a podcast interview that to not syndicate his show into other cities was a "bit of a racist thing towards breakfast announcers". While we're still scratching our heads at his choice of words that day, you can't help but imagine anything other than Kyle popping the Moet if they land a #1 book in Melbourne. After that, every other brekkie show lineup around the country is officially on notice - Kyle's coming for your gig.

📌 Zanda Wilson: Conventional wisdom suggests that Breakfast is pretty much the only timeslot on terrestrial radio where syndication simply does not work. But many of the same radio executives who were spruiking the importance of live and local breakfast for decades, have also been in charge of networks where local regional breakfast shows have started to become the exception rather than the rule. It’s true Breakfast radio listeners traditionally expect the content on the show to reflect their city. It’s certainly true that past efforts to syndicate commercial radio shows across capital cities have failed. But it’s also true that various past and present hosts of high-profile shows dial into broadcasts from other cities. Multiple things can be true at once, and a successful cross-capital city syndication never works… until it does. And if it’s going to be anyone, why not Kyle & Jackie O?

📌 Jane Elliott: Love them or hate them, it’s undeniable that Kyle & Jackie O have had a significant impact on the radio landscape. While their success in Melbourne remains uncertain, it’s unlikely they’ll replicate the massive numbers they currently command in Sydney. Breakfast audiences have come to expect shows that reflect their city, but a great news journalist can offer a local perspective. Given the fierce competition amongst Melbourne’s top breakfast shows, perhaps listeners are ready for something different. If anyone can bridge markets successfully, it’s Kyle & Jackie O. Though the transition won’t be easy for the Sydney duo, in such a crowded field, I wouldn’t discount them. One thing's for certain, there won’t be room for lazy broadcasting, and ultimately listeners will benefit from the heightened competition. 

Four strategists (Amy Daroukakis, Ci En Lee, Gonzalo Gregori and Iolanda Carvalho) have compiled a Google Drive folder with 235 trend reports for the year ahead. It's a rabbit hole-worthy collection of smarts from some of the world's best companies, including VICE, Ogilvy, LinkedIn, and many many more. It's a war chest of insights for leaders and a data mine for marketers. Enjoy!

👉 eMarketer's Advertising Trends Report says in 2024, marketers and agencies will lean further into AI for creative ideation, media planning, and more. As creative agencies and individual media buyers get more comfortable with using generative AI (genAI) to boost creative output, this trend will change how
creative agencies work and how media buyers think.

👉 Ogilvy's Influence Trends Report says 96% of the creator economy is yet to be tapped into and properly utilised.

👉 Pinterest's Predicts Report says this year, Millennials and Gen Z will trade in their electronic beats for something far more retro: vintage jazz. Jazz-inspired outfits, dimly lit venues and lo-fi looks are all on the rise.

👉 VICE's Guide to Culture says in Gen Z’s world, stories aren’t only about consumption, they’re about inhabitation. Youth are donning avatars, becoming characters, and storifying their lives, resulting in a narrative experience that has
morphed from a spectator sport to a participatory odyssey.

👉 LinkedIn's Future of Work Report says Conversations around AI on LinkedIn have increased by 70% globally since genAI sparked in popularity. This is significant, particularly when compared to other recent seminal tech moments, like the peak of conversations around cryptocurrency in November 2021 (which saw a 19% increase) and augmented and virtual reality, which experienced a 5% increase when it first peaked in October 2021.

👉 YouTube's Culture & Trends Report says the environment in which creativity now exists has become more dynamic and personalised. Expanding content formats, the evolving ecosystem of fandoms, and even new viewing contexts — evidenced by the rise of connected TV — have led to trending phenomena that offer different entry points and levels of depth for viewers.

Threat: Taylor-Mania in Melbourne

This week's SWOT was written from a hotel in Richmond, Melbourne, on Thursday, where all guests (bar this one) are here for one reason only: Taylor Swift. It's impossible to escape the excitement swirling the city's streets ahead of Swift's show. That's thanks, in part, to some savvy marketers who have attached their brand to the hysteria surrounding the Era of Taylor Swift, down under. But it all begs two questions: Are marketers missing the year-round opportunity to embrace more local artists, and can Taylor Swift sell Vegemite to Aussies?

👉 Well, Vegemite and its agency Thinkerbell sure believe so. The iconic Aussie spread has rolled out the welcome mat with a cheeky yet massive billboard message located en route into the Melbourne CBD from Melbourne airport.

👉 Arnott’s Tim Tam jumped on the Taylor Train, surprising fans with a temporary rebrand to Tay Tam across social media platforms.

👉 Spotlight launched its Get Concert Ready campaign in January so Swifties can be ready with friendship bracelets to trade ahead of the stadium shows.

👉 Even News Corp went gaga for Tay Tay, launching the limited-edition Taylor magazine last December.

👉 Melinda Lofts, Head of CX Strategy at M&C Saatchi Australia, told Mediaweek the Taylor Swift effect was nothing to be snubbed at as “everything she touches turns to gold.”

👉 While this is all good news for Melbourne (and Sydney), it's created some bad blood among fans, brands and tourism bodies in other states. Australia’s two largest cities are about to reap the profits of the biggest pop tour in decades as experts reveal Adelaide’s economy has missed out on more than $100m.

The Fun Stuff

Quote of the Week: It’s weird and frustrating that the Albanese government is putting its foot on the accelerator for Australian music at the same time as ABC Local Radio seems to be hitting the brakes.” – John Watson, Australian Artist Manager. Source: The Music.

🎥 Show of the Week: "Nemesis caps off an extraordinary exercise in documentary journalism" writes the SMH. The headline couldn't be more accurate. The three-part special is a fly-on-the-wall look into party room pandemonium.

🍾 Team Tidbit: Sound Story Comms Director, Jane Elliott, says "cheese" alongside Vinyl Group CEO, Josh Simons, and its artist Emmanuel Kelly, after wrapping a week of promo for his new earworm 'My Sky'.

Written by
Sound Story
Sound Story is your trusted comms partner! Strategic PR and comms for ambitious brands disrupting the global entertainment industry.
More from Sound Story

We've shared our story, now let's craft yours!

Let's Talk
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Sound Story.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.