Triple J Week – Thursday 28 October
Part of the reason to listen to Triple J for the week was to try and get a handle on the amount of cross-promoting it does. How Triple J gets away with it has always been something that no one has ever been able to properly answer whenever I’ve mentioned it in a music forum.
If Triple J wants to plug its own radio shows that’s fair enough, and it can probably also get away with plugging Triple J TV programs on the various ABC television channels. The big mystery for me has always been related to its advertising for its magazine, recently renamed from JMag to Triple J Magazine, its advertising of gigs that it’s promoting, and its advertising for its various compilation albums, with the recently released Like A Version compilation album being a good example. These are all commercial ventures and ABC isn’t a commercial company, funded instead by the tax payers. If say Rolling Stone wants to advertise on radio or TV it’s going to be paying a fair dollar to promote itself, same with anyone releasing a compilation album. Triple J Magazine gets that advertising for free, with Like A Version and the Hottest 100 CDs and DVDs getting free national radio promotion.
With regular jingles and plugs throughout the day about Triple J’s gig guide and the shows and festivals that it presents, my inquisitive mind has always been wondering how they decide to ‘present’ one show over another and what’s in it for them. From what I’ve been told (and maybe someone will correct me), when street press ‘presents’ shows it’s usually tied in with buying advertising in said magazine. Obviously Triple J doesn’t do this, so what’s in it for them to relentlessly plug shows for bands like The National, as they have been doing this week? Presumably its access and freebies, which is a lot cheaper than having to pay for adverts on commercial radio.
However, the aim to keep a log of jingles and plugs as well as the songs didn’t go exactly to plan, partly because I kept forgetting to add them to the list, partly because I couldn’t make my mind up whether I should only include the pre-recorded jingles or whether I should have also included each time a DJ plugged it. As a rough guide, each day I was managing (when I remembered) to log in the region of 10 advertising jingles for the magazine, the gigs being presented and the Like A Version CD and DVD, with a load of plugging and giveways throughout the week on top of this.
How Triple J gets away with advertising in the way it does is still something that really interests me, so feel free to comment below if you’ve got any answers.
Do I need to tell you anything about Thursday’s 9am to 5:30pm playlist? I guess the most interesting thing was that acts from Melbourne dominated the Australian songs played during the day, more than twice the amount of songs from Sydney bands.
A couple of songs from prior to Triple J’s normal Year Zero of 1991 were nice surprises: ‘That’s Entertainment’ by The Jam from 1980 and ‘Slave Master’ by the late, great Gregory Isaacs from 1979 proving that there was good music around before Nirvana.
Brisbane artists were still behind Perth in fourth and a measly four Brisbane bands being played over the 8 ½ hours. The other thing I’ve noticed during the week is Triple J have played more songs from Canada than Brisbane. Triple J loves Canadian music.
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The four songs played (again assuming that Washington is a Brisbane act) were:
- ‘Pennies’ – The Gin Club
- ‘Cement’ – Washington
- ‘Bad Guys’ – Bleeding Knees Club
- ‘Coming Around’ – Hungry Kids Of Hungary