Gold Coast - Survey 1, 2020


Hot Tomato won the ratings with a 20.6% share, up a whopping 7.7% from the previous survey. JJJ was 2nd with 10.5%, thanks to a 1.1% lift in ratings, whilst Triple M (formerly Gold FM) fell to 3rd with 10.3% (down 1.7%), and Hit 90.9 was 4th with 9.6% (up 0.6%).

In the demographics, Hit 90.9 was #1 in the 18-24s, whilst Hot Tomato won the 10-17s, 25-39s (with JJJ 2nd), 40-54s & 55-64s. Triple M & ABC Gold Coast tied for the top in the 65+, but Hot Tomato wasn’t too far behind.

In timeslot breakdowns, Hot Tomato smashed the competition in a big way from Breakfast through to Drive, as well as on Weekends, and narrowly won evenings ahead of JJJ.

The “Other Stations” accounted for 26.4% of listeners surveyed, down 2.7% from the previous survey.


:open_mouth: What has Hot Tomato done differently since last survey?


I’m not sure, but I think Gold’s rebranding to Triple M is turning listeners off, which would partly contribute to Hot Tomato’s big jump in ratings, as it offers a more local sounding product compared to the SCA offerings.

Also worth noting that it’s the first time since Survey 1 of 2008 that a Gold Coast station has a 20%+ overall share. In that survey, Gold FM had a 20.6% share (the same as what Hot Tomato gets 12 years later), with Sea FM at 15.5% & Hot Tomato at 12.6%. Back then, Gold & Sea were owned by Macquarie Southern Cross Media.

This survey also sees JJJ getting its highest overall share on record.


Hot :tomato: does feel a lot more local and does have a much bigger playlist then the SCA station. It’s definitely the pick of the 3 Commercial stations. I thing, another problem is people are getting turned of by repetitive bland music formats (Triple M).
Something I have been taking a lot of noticed with over the past 12 months with worksites around Queensland is Triple J is the most listen too, followed by Star FM. Power 100 was a big hit with worksites in Townsville.


And what do Star FM, Power 100 & Hot Tomato all have in common? They’re owned by Grant Broadcasters. :slight_smile:

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If it wasn’t for Rebel and Breeze, the Gold Coast market would be dire.

Hot Tomato rating a 20.6 share with a dreadful music log shows how poorly the SCA stations are programmed. Variety is one thing, but in their latest tactic (the Lockdown Countdown) they were lurching from CHR hits to 1960s pop tracks in the same 10 minute period. Feel very sorry for the solus NSW markets who have to suffer from this log.

On the flipside, it’s not as if the SCA stations aren’t local on the Gold Coast in most dayparts. Triple M Brisbane is down, as are the two Brisbane CHRs are also down, so the audience isn’t going there either. Is it the music? The branding? Whatever it is, it ain’t working.

One thing is for certain: Triple J is doing very well across the board and it should be worrying the commercial industry.

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I totally agree with the above comment :sunglasses:. Even this 45 year old doesn’t mind the J,s.

Last time I was listening to Hot Tomato they had a Pop/Rock variety format from the 80’s to Now. How long have they been playing 60’s and 70’s music for?

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I think the 60s & 70s music that AustralianAerial was referring to was only during the “Lockdown Countdown”.

Just looking through their playlist on Lava, Hot Tomato still has a Pop/Rock Variety format from the 80s to Now.


I wonder if this result makes Bill Caralis want to switch Radio97 (104.1FM Gold Coast) into an 80s to Now music station & take the NewFM network log?

Even their regular format still feels too jarring to me - the 9am hour from today, for instance, is all over the place with tempo, genre and era (via Lava):

Sam Feldt / Rani - Post Malone (2019)
Jimmy Eat World - The Middle (2001)
Adele - Hello (2015)
Conan Gray - Maniac (2019)
John Mellencamp - Hurts So Good (1982)
Post Malone - Circles (2019)
Pink - Beautiful Trauma (2017)
Lady Gaga - Stupid Love (2020)
The Wallflowers - One Headlight (1996)
Tones and I - Never Seen The Rain (2019)
Live Lounge Allstars - Times Like These (2020)
Beyonce - If I Were A Boy (2008)
John Legend - Love Me Now (2016)

Very typical generic regional AC playlist such as i98 / Wave Fm

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The locals on the coast have woken up to the fact that Hot Tomato is the only true local station amongst the major players. Generic Triple M and Hit branding for Gold and Sea has come home to roost.


It was a similar story in Hobart last year, where 7HO (also owned by Grant) smashed the SCA opposition.


Agree with the sentiment of the comments here - Hot Tomato feels like the Gold Coast’s local station. The music drives me nuts personally, I can’t stay for more than 2-3 songs, but if I were chasing local news or just a local feel it would be the only station I’d go to.

Personally I can’t believe how easily Gold FM gave that up to them - staggering…

The Triple J figure is amazing, or if you’re SCA, embarrassing.


Gold Coasters love the Gold Coast. They are so proud of the Gold Coast. They are Gold Coasters as much as they are Australian - as are most people in the capitals and regional centres.

The SCA stations on the Gold Coast, Triple M and Hit90.9, would reign supreme, except for the fact that the Gold Coast has its own station - Hot Tomato. Just like 4GG meant Gold Coast, now Hot Tomato is the Gold Coast.

This generic shit - Triple M and Hit - works well when there is no or weak competition, but struggles when there is a strong local station.

You’re listening to the Gold Coast’s 92.5 - Brisbane’s Triple M. Which is actually Sydney’s Triple M. There is also a Triple M country music station on DAB. FFS FM.

I have no doubt that the decision to remove the brands of 4GG, Gold and Sea from the Gold Coast were not made within 80kms of Broadbeach. I suspect they were made 1000kms south of Kurrawa Surf Club, close to Town Hall in Sydney.


I just noticed that Hot Tomato is No.1 for most of the demos:

  • 10 - 17s
  • 25 - 39s
  • 40 - 54s
  • 55 - 64s

And a close No. 2 for the 18 - 24s over 65s.

Now that is smashing it.


Yep, pretty much.

Although SCA isn’t even doing that well in the capital cities. If the Sydney & Melbourne ratings of recent years are anything to go by, a Smooth or Pure Gold FM station would probably be a massive cash cow on the Gold Coast (or indeed Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Canberra, Newcastle…) if they had one!


Was Gold Coast regularly surveyed before 2005? The only data I’ve been able to find prior to that was a bit of data from a 1991 survey.

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RG Capital and MRRW were loathe to participate in surveys. Being the only two commercial stations, it simply didn’t happen.

No, because Bill & Pam want to listen to ‘their’ station when they come to stay at Fremar Street.

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