Jorn Agterberg – Qmusic

Jorn Agterberg – Qmusic

Jorn Agterberg is Marketing Manager at Qmusic, the biggest radio station in the Netherlands, and is owned by the Belgian/Dutch media group DPG Media. Jorn joined Qmusic, in the Netherlands often referred to as simply ‘Q’ in 2011 and has been fulfilling his current role since 2016.

Main KPIs for brand growth

Jorn shares that Qmusic’s main KPI is based on market share: “We look at the number of listeners, and the time spent listening. Both need to increase, as it will work both ways. Besides that, we also look at top of mind awareness and Byron Sharp’s idea of category entry points. Every time someone thinks of music or radio, we want them to think of Qmusic. We are working on increasing our mental availability further.” Jorn tells us that Qmusic has continuously grown in market share over the last 30 months: “We were already the market leader among the most important commercial target group of people between 20-49 years of age, and recently we became the market leader in the broadest target group of 10+. Q really is a radio station for everyone.”

According to Jorn, Qmusic also looks at their NPS score, however, it is not their main objective. Jorn: “Qmusic stands for an optimistic sound of being connected, and always broadcasts from a positive perspective. That positive attitude hopefully leads to a recommendation. However, a recommendation is not our objective, it is mostly the natural result of that positive attitude. Being optimistic and positive is part of Q’s DNA and our main objective. From the start in the Netherlands in 2005, this has been the common thread in everything we do, and it has ensured a very positive feeling among Q-listeners. This is also something we look for when hiring new people: does someone have the same DNA, and is it real? With DJs, this is essential. You can’t act when you are presenting 250 shows in a year, so there has to be an intrinsic positive attitude in our people.”

The role of creatives

When it comes to creatives, Qmusic’s most important creative element is their programming. Jorn: “It revolves around the programme side of the station; the DJs, the shows, the promotions. The morning show is the most important by far, it is a widely known radio rule: If you win the morning, you win the day. When people start listening to you in the morning, they will carry on listening throughout the day.” Most radio stations have certain promotions throughout the year to attract more listeners. One of Qmusic’s most popular promotions is ‘Het Geluid’ (The Secret Sound), where people must guess what the secret sound is. With every wrong answer, the cash prize increases. Jorn tells us how these promotions come about: “We usually sit down with the DJs and our creative people and just have a brainstorm to create new and surprising ideas. We have a lot of creative people working at Q.”

“We always test our creatives. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, would you?

Qmusic uses different creatives when it comes to realising impact on the long- and short-term. Jorn: “With long-term, Q’s DNA is always front and centre. ‘Q sounds better with you’, a customer centric approach, and once again sharing that positive perspective. ‘Foute Uur’ (an hour filled with guilty pleasure songs) is a prime example of our long-term strategy, it is a fun, and positive programme. In the beginning, everyone in the radio business thought we were crazy for doing it, but now, we are often copied, and it has almost become a music style in itself. Consequently, we were able to create a huge event around it with over 40.000 visitors: ‘Foute Party’. In the short term, we focus more on engaging promotions, of course also hitting that same upbeat, cheerful note.”

Content ‘Sampling’

According to Jorn, Qmusic mainly shares its message across digital and social media channels. Jorn: “Social media plays a very important role in reaching people. We see content on social media as sampling. We upload loads of small pieces, compilations, of our shows and programmes, which can then be shared across the channels. In the first place for the fans, and second it is a way for people to cross paths with Q, and hopefully, after seeing those small snippets, they will want more and start listening to us. It works the same with the free samples you receive in the supermarket.”

Test driving

Like with samples, there are people who need to test them. Jorn shares that Qmusic tests their creatives among their own panel: “We always test our creatives. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, would you? By using our own panel, we can quickly test among our listeners, often within a few hours.”

According to Jorn, Qmusic pays close attention to their listeners and their changed behaviour, especially during the corona crisis, which became an external force, in the composition of their programming schedule: “We noticed that people stay in bed for an hour longer during lockdown, as they no longer commute to work. Before, our morning show ended at 9 o’clock, which we have now extended to 10. The ‘Foute Uur’, which previously aired from 9 to 10 on weekdays, has been permanently moved to 10 o’clock. As a radio station, we had to adjust to our listeners’ new morning routine.”

Lastly, Jorn shares his view on creative trends: “Creativity itself is already an important trend. It started with YouTube all those years ago, many people making a job out of posting their content online. These last few years that trend has only become bigger with the rise of platforms such as TikTok. Everyone is a creator these days, and the younger generations have truly grown up with this movement.”