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Crushing blow to Triple J as his target audience switches to boomer stations

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National youth broadcaster Triple J woke up rudely this week as the latest radio reviews showed a massive migration of listeners to easy-listening stations like WSFM and Smooth FM targeting boomers and Gen-Xers.

The third 2022 survey, conducted by market research firm GfK and covering the period February 27 to April 2 and April 17 to May 21, found that Triple J had fallen by 7.4 percentage points in its target audience of 18- to 24-year-olds. .

It took just eight percent of the youth market, which was a significant drop from its 20 percent share two surveys ago, when a large number of people tuned in to the Hottest 100 countdown.

Fall: Youth channel Triple J brazenly woke up this week as the latest radio reviews showed a massive migration of listeners to easy-listening stations like WSFM and Smooth FM targeting boomers and Gen-Xers. (Pictured: Triple J breakfast hosts Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu)

The latest survey results are said to be ‘indicative of wider movement away from the station’, reports news.com.auwith the largest drops for the morning show from 9 a.m. to noon (down 1.9 percent) and weekdays from noon to 4 p.m. (down 2.7 percent).

At first glance, the data seems to indicate that Triple J is losing listeners to WSFM and Smooth FM, which target those over 35 and are known for playing top-40 hits of yesteryear with a focus on Australian rock and 80s music.

This migration may not be bad news for ABC’s youth channel.

Triple J made it clear during the relaunch of the “generational shift” in 2019 – replacing several popular hosts, including Gen Fricker and Tom Tilley with young newcomers – that the “relentless” was only targeting 18- to 24-year-olds.

Jake Challenor, the print editor of Rolling Stone Australia, also noted that a disappointing investigation three is unlikely to cause panic in Triple J’s hallways.

Ratings: The data seems to indicate that Triple J is losing listeners to WSFM and Smooth, which target those over the age of 35 and are known for playing top-40 hits from yesteryear.  (Pictured: WSFM hosts Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones at the 2014 ACRAs in Melbourne)

Ratings: The data seems to indicate that Triple J is losing listeners to WSFM and Smooth, which target those over the age of 35 and are known for playing top-40 hits from yesteryear. (Pictured: WSFM hosts Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones at the 2014 ACRAs in Melbourne)

Mr Challenor explained that the results were part of a ‘normal’ trend for the station, which is known to ‘peak in the summer’ before falling in surveys two and three and then ‘correcting’.

‘It’s not an uncommon trend; it’s very normal. The Hottest 100 drives enormously [numbers] for them in book eight and book one,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“Especially this year, the countdown was the biggest in Triple J history.”

Mr Challenor further suggested that one of the reasons for the collapse of Triple J in survey three was the migration of radio listeners to streaming platforms such as Spotify.

Triple J will feel the impact of this shift first because of its youth demographics, but eventually other stations will experience a similar downward trend, he argued.

“The much bigger problem is that more young people are leaving radio for streaming services,” Challenor said.

“So there’s an industry-wide problem that is particularly felt by Triple J, given their bull’s eye. But eventually it will affect all networks.’

Migration of listeners: The latest results are said to be 'indicative of wider movement away from the station'.  Meanwhile, Smooth FM, dubbed

Migration of listeners: The latest results are said to be ‘indicative of wider movement away from the station’. Meanwhile, Smooth FM, dubbed “Sydney’s feel-good station” in this ad featuring British singer Robbie Williams, delivers strong ratings on every poll.

Meanwhile, Triple J listeners have shared their thoughts on the perceived decline in quality at the station, focusing on the presenters and music choice.

One person said they noticed that “the standard for singing” had “gone way down,” adding that singers on Triple J “all sound nasal.”

Some listeners have noted the prevalence of “mumbling” vocals, which they say has led to many performers sounding the same.

One critic complained about the lack of variety on Triple J’s Hip Hop Show, hosted by Hau Latukefu, saying that “90 percent” of the music on it is “grime/British rap.”

The hosts of Triple J’s breakfast show, Bryce Mills and Ebony Boadu, have also been criticized, with some listeners saying they were “not funny” and “lack of focus.”

However, others have argued that they are at least better than their predecessors Sally Coleman and Erica Mallet – who only lasted a year – and Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton, who hosted breakfast from 2017 to 2019 and now work at Nova.

Growing out of it: A longtime Triple J listener said on Reddit this week that aging millennials and Gen-Xers hate the newer presenters because they want to go back to the

Growing out of it: A longtime Triple J listener said on Reddit this week that aging millennials and Gen-Xers hate the newer presenters because they want to go back to the “good old days” of hosts like Merrick Watts (left) and Tim Ross (Turn right). Pictured in March 2004

But it’s important to remember that people who dislike the new hosts could just be a sign that they’re getting too old for Triple J.

in a popular reddit post this week, a 35-year-old Triple J listener said they’ve “seen a lot of different presenters come and go” and the only recurring theme is that “no one is ever happy” with them.

They saw how all the recent breakfast teams — including Bryce and Ebony, Sally and Erica, Ben and Liam, as well as Matt Okine and Alex Dyson before them — have apparently “sucked,” if we’re to believe the vocal minority.

But they argued that this is simply a matter of aging listeners wanting to return to the “good old days” of presenters like Wil Anderson, Merrick Watts and Helen Razer.

We all look at the media we consumed in our youth with pink sunglasses, and this often leads us to forget the horrible things, argued the Reddit user.

“We need to get past the idea that there was a lost golden age of Triple J,” they said.

“In reality you have aged, nothing has changed, the music has changed, the media has changed. It goes without saying that the presenters of a youth radio station will not try to address you.’

Time to move on: The Reddit user spotted how all of the recent breakfast teams — including Sally Coleman (left) and Erica Mallet (right) — have apparently 'sucked', if we're to believe the vocal minority.  But the most likely situation is that these listeners are just too old for Triple J

Time to move on: The Reddit user spotted how all of the recent breakfast teams — including Sally Coleman (left) and Erica Mallet (right) — have apparently ‘sucked’, if we’re to believe the vocal minority. But the most likely situation is that these listeners are just too old for Triple J

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