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News Plus 17 Feb 2021 - 2 min read

SCA chief says digital will trump broadcast revenue growth, touts new ‘uber app’ strategy

By Josh McDonnell - Senior Writer

SCA is making a major play to bring its entire audio audience together in one place, fully digitised, fully measurable – and it hopes, fully monetisable. Suffice to say, LiSTNR is a bit more than an app launch.

What you need to know:

  • SCA is making a major push to go digital first with a single 'mothership' app.
  • Dubbed 'LiSTNR', the app brings all SCA digital audio into one place - where everyone signs in.
  • That gives advertisers major targeting opportunities as third party cookie era ends.

New playbook

Three years in development, SCA is taking aim at some 9 million Australian digital audio listeners with LiSTNR. The ‘uber app’ will house all of SCA’s digital audio and require users to sign in. 

It spans some 100 original local, national and global podcasts, 15 music streaming channels and new local news reports for 15 regions and 34 towns in Australia, with more in the pipeline. The app will also curate all of that for each listener.

CEO Grant Blackley said the app, "and its signed in and known [user] data", will ultimately make SCA’s digital business its main growth agent. “It gives us the opportunity to deliver engaged audiences at scale with targeted advertising."

Now SCA just has to convince its existing 1.5m digital listeners to sign in to the new platform. The firm aims to provide them all with a single log-in and migrate them to the new app, but for now its individual properties will continue to operate as normal.

Should it succeed, Blackley said the shift to a “digital first strategy” will result in “a meaningful revenue and earnings contribution” in the short to medium term.

He is also eyeing a bigger pie: “The number of Australians accessing digital audio has doubled since 2016, to 9.4m,” said Blackley.  He thinks the audience will quickly double again: “It is projected to reach 80% of Australians by 2024.”

Good vibes?

SCA is backing personalised content to drive revenue. It calls these curated segments ‘Vibes’ and has divided its audiences into six ‘personas’ (AKA 'Vibes') after following the listening habits of 2,500 people over three years.

The findings, said Blackley, "show the full breakdown of audience including time spent listening, frequency, right through to understanding a user’s mood, motivation and preference."

Vibes will provide the foundations for targeted buying and marketing approaches that advertisers can use across the LiSTNR uber app. Blackley said that will drive incremental reach to known audiences on top of existing audio buys.

Big push

SCA is preparing a major marketing push to drive uptake and sign-ins. The strategy will be “two-pronged," per the company, with the first stage focused on cross-promoting and migrating streaming audiences that currently use Hit and Triple M stations via aps or on the web.

It’s also launching a digitally-led campaign that aims to drive awareness, which will be bolstered by a broader, multi-channel integrated campaign later in the year.

Meanwhile, Blackley is maximising use of earned B2B channels.

"We now have the ability to deliver a valuable, targeted audience at scale for advertisers," he said. "This is just the start."

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