Does winning radio awards translate into winning radio?

You got to hand it to Talk Radio 702. Last week first on the MTN Radio Awards podium. This week first out the trade marketing starting blocks. Even as an MTN Radio Awards judge, it wasn’t until I received this communication from Primedia Broadcasting that I realized the collective weight of Talk Radio 702’s achievement. That’s a pretty compelling argument if you’re wondering where to invest your advertising budget.

Looking at this set me wondering, though, “does success amongst your peers really translate into success in the marketplace”?
At first glance you might be forgiven for saying “no”! After all, if we look at weekly listenership cumes, Talk Radio 702 lies in 5th position amongst Gauteng’s finest. Just ahead of community station Jozi FM, and leaving perennial under-achiever Classic FM to bring up the rear.
• 94,2 Jacaranda 1,926,000
• YFM 1,576,000
• Kaya FM 1,463,000
• 94,7 Highveld 1,201,000
• Talk Radio 702 531,000
• Jozi FM 492,000
• Classic FM 203,000
Just as size of programme audience doesn’t tell the full story when it comes to impacting on individual listeners, size of station audience on any one RAMS diary also falls short of painting the full picture, when it comes to evaluating a station’s success in the marketplace.
If we examine the performance of the Big 7 Gauteng stations over the past 3 years (19 RAMS diaries), there is only one station that stands out in terms of long term growth. That’s Talk Radio 702. Sure there was a wobble at the back end of 2009 but it looks like that trend is being reversed.

So, does winning radio awards translate into winning radio in the marketplace? Sure looks like it to me.
Of course, looking at the data, poses another question.
I wonder how Jacaranda 94,2 is going to perform at MTN Radio Awards 2011?