debtOr for over a decade, declaring Triple J irrelevant has been something of a national pastime. beyond the timing of the annual Hottest 100 countdown softball interview of far-right figures, and more recently, sad tweet – Retains very well in the core demographic of listeners aged 18-24.
until now. last month, 4th radio audience survey of the year Triple J saw an average drop of 2.5% in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide from late April to late June, confirming that Triple J is reducing those listeners. (Audience share is the most useful metric here, as it’s a metric that is theoretically unaffected by an overall upward or downward trend in listener numbers.)
Comparing this year’s numbers to the same period last year, it looks even worse. In Sydney, Triple J’s share of 18-24 year-olds dropped from 7.7% to 4.4%, while in Melbourne he hit 4.2%. . Triple J Meanwhile, millennials and Gen X listenership remained largely the same.
Triple J is a taxpayer-funded entity with specific powers to reach 18-24 year olds, so the audience shift deserves scrutiny. They can also have real meaning. For years, Triple J has been Australia’s premier platform for new music. The only national terrestrial radio station focused on youth, it has the power to break new local acts and support their national tours.Amy Shark, Vance Joy, Froome, Dean・Contributed to the rise of global success stories such as Lewis.
The station’s minimum 40% Australian content quota (well above commercial radio’s 25%) means many young bands will be making their first radio appearances on Triple J. support. Triple J is a juggernaut, especially in rural areas. The station held nearly 40% of her audience share between her 18 and her 24-year-olds in Newcastle and the Gold Coast, according to a late 2021 viewership survey.
But its target demographic seems to be adjusting – we spoke to a few people to find out why. it’s complicated.
Changes in Subcultures and the “Triple J Sound”
The perception that the audience is aging has plagued Triple J for some time. The station has been active in its attempt to upset millennial listeners to endorse her Gen Z. In 2014, it launched a digital sister station, Double J. Double J will play older Australian acts (Sarah Blasko, Magic Dirt), adult contemporary acts. (Courtney Barnett, Ngaiire) and former “Triple J artists” (The Avalanches, Julia Stone) who have reached Double J territory with age.
On the other hand, the triple J itself Review of personnel allocationIn 2017, longtime Music Director Richard Kingsmill moved to a role coordinating the Music Directors of Triple J, Triple J Unearthed, Double J, ABC Radio and ABC Country, where he served as a longtime Assistant Music Director. Nick Findlay replaced Triple J. 2022, Triple J’s weekly new music show. ) Many of the station’s most famous personalities left the station, including Zan Lowe, Linda Marigliano and Tom Tilley, along with Avani Diaz, Lucy Smith, Dave Woodhead, Bridget Hustwaite, Ebony Boadou and Bryce Mills. They even tried to make way for younger viewers.The tweet sparked by suggesting that many of its viewers were ‘old’ age discrimination accusation(Reps for Triple J declined to comment for this article.)
While it’s easy to attribute Triple J’s decline in viewership to an overall decline in terrestrial radio listenership among Gen Z, the numbers generally don’t. In Sydney and Perth, Gen Z radio he listeners increased slightly overall in the previous survey. Especially in Sydney, 2DAY FM, KIIS FM and Smooth FM (which are primarily targeted at baby boomers) have all seen a significant increase in his Gen Z listenership over the past few months.
So how do you explain the loss of Triple J? Two listeners who died told The Guardian about the “Triple J sound.” long relationship with station Harrison Kanner, a 22-year-old software engineer from Sydney, first started listening to Triple J in 2016. Mainly garage pop bands. “[Triple J] It was meant to be very open, free and inclusive,” he says. [they’re] Not all locations are covered. “
Harry Green, also 22 and from Melbourne, plays in a band called Mouseatoouille. He, like Kannah, feels that the station’s programming is consistently wrong. As for the Australian band, “I felt like there was a certain Triple J sound,” says Green. He started listening to Triple J regularly in his 2011. Now he prefers to discover music in other ways. “In the mid-2010s, I switched to Discord servers and niche internet forums to find new music, the old school way of going to gigs and checking out support acts.” It’s consistent with how the internet has essentially destroyed the alternative subcultures that Triple J has traditionally served in favor of hyper-specific microgenres such as hyperpop and digicore.
but is there For real “Triple J sound”? Groups such as Spacey Jane, Rhyme Cordial, Skeggs and Ball Park Music make him one of the most played artists on the station each year.
However, Triple J’s programming has also changed significantly over the past few years and now has more in common with commercial stations. Pop A-listers like Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X, and The Kid Laroy are all fixtures on the playlist, with Eilish winning too. Hot Top 100 of 2018 – results that were unthinkable just a few years ago. In the era of Phoebe Bridgers collaborating with Taylor Swift, the line between what is considered “alternative” and “mainstream” feels completely arbitrary.
More competition, more curated
Embracing more pop and rap is how Triple J courts Generation Z, but it faces major hurdles. TikTok, YouTube, and streaming services offer a much more customized music discovery experience and are more deeply integrated into the lives of their audiences.
“Most people just find [new music] Through algorithms,” Green says. “It’s right there on our phones and always giving us recommendations. No news or jokes between songs.” Unlike these platforms, Triple J isn’t for everyone.
Even among young listeners who still prefer radio, there is more competition than ever. His local radio stations such as Triple R, FBI and 4ZZZ still hold great influence and have been a valuable community resource for him during the recent lockdown.Meanwhile, niche DIY internet radio station International heavyweights like Melbourne’s Skylab Radio and Sydney’s Nomad Radio, as well as London’s NTS and New York’s The Lot, have garnered legions of fans.
Riely Haverecht, 24, who works in a Geelong-based retail business, says it’s “not so common” for his friends to hear Triple J. The novelty of the Hottest 100 or Splendor live set. I never thought, ‘Oh, I want to listen to great music,'” he says. He and his friends prefer music discovery experiences tailored to their tastes, such as curated playlists, his TikTok videos that suggest new music based on what they like, and Spotify’s discovery algorithm. .
His generation has long had access to a niche, curated listening experience, so by the time the Triple J generation owns their own car to, say, listen to the radio, their Tastes are already changing. fully formed. “[Young people are] Trendy musical tastes come in,” he says.
Loss of audience – but not loss of influence
Triple J’s ratings woes may be a reflection of its own success. Gen X and Millennials just won’t stop listening, and they may be creating the perception that Triple J is for older generations.
talk to the guardian, 24-year-old DJ and FBI presenter Louisa Thurn said: [perception] still exists. The overarching realization that Triple J is no longer by young people for young people [its ratings decline]”
It’s also easy to forget that the nearly 50-year-old Triple J has been a dominant cultural force since before Gen Z was even born. Kannah is the earnest and concise brand of Triple J. 30 Steve Buscemi rock memes with a rear cap. “In recent elections, [current affairs show Hack] it was like Up in this election? ’ he says. “Everybody knows what an election is. It’s like a fucking election.”
Of course, the question that hangs over all this is: Is the rating of terrestrial radio important?The number of young people aged 18 to 24 who listen to the radio every week is around 500,000 people a week in Sydney and Melbourne, and half that in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide. It is less than. TikTok, the two platforms where Triple J is active.
Multiple artists declined to comment on the record for this work, with one representative saying they feared jeopardizing potential Triple J support, even between the ages of 18 and 24. Even if a broadcaster’s audience share has declined, it has not lost its overall reach or influence in the industry among that demographic.
But at the very least, changes in viewership and the myriad theories that explain it suggest that the station’s position as a major arbiter of Australian youth music culture may be precarious. Perhaps it is not Triple J itself that needs re-evaluation, but its mission. If radio ceases to be a viable way to reach young people in Australia, we can’t help but play a losing battle.
Triple J Stopped: Why Australian Youth Broadcaster Is Losing Young Listeners | Radio
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