Sydney worst hit in ‘patchy’ Australian radio advertising market

Advertising revenue in Australia’s largest radio market has fallen by nearly 10% for March this year as compared to March 2011.

A fall of 9.84% in Sydney meant a drop to $17.48m in revenue, according to the 2012 Metropolitan Commercial Radio Advertising Revenue report, published by Deloitte for the CRA.

Australia’s second largest radio ad market, Melbourne, fell by 4.2% to $16.88m for March.

Despite Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth seeing growth, as the two biggest metro markets in Australia fell it meant that the radio market shrunk by 3.41% overall, to a total of $57.3m.

Brisbane saw growth of 5.1% to $9.7m. Perth grew by 1.92% to $7.967m, while Adelaide grew just 0.04% to $5.29m.


Across the five metro markets, Sydney also saw the greatest drop over the past nine months, since the start of the financial year, by 2.76% to $155m.

The Perth market wavered, with a 0.42% drop to $68.4m.

It was better news for Adelaide, however, which saw the largest growth by 4.08% to $48m.

Melbourne and Brisbane were more modest with Melbourne growing by 0.25% to $153m and Brisbane growing by 0.55% to $82.6m for the past nine months.

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, said the figures reflect the overall uncertainty of trading conditions, particularly in Sydney.

She said: “The radio industry continues to show itself as a very resilient market in tough trading conditions, with some markets recording growth, but others more patchy results.”

The news of Sydney’s revenue drop follows a relatively stagnant ratings period in the first survey of the year.


  1. Ann
    11 Apr 12
    1:40 pm

  2. Some commercial stations, have so many ads and so many ad breaks, then so many sponsored segments. Its seems like 50% ads.

  3. Trevor Trevorsen
    11 Apr 12
    2:31 pm

  4. Not surprised, given the patchy “quality” of in-house radio creative. Lazy, uninspired, unimaginative white noise, especially Sydney’s talk stations. It sounds like they insert the product name into a radio ad cliche generator — “one stop shop”, “for all your (whatever) needs”, “family owned business”, etc. Yawn.

  5. Talia
    11 Apr 12
    2:57 pm

  6. Wonder if it’s the ‘Kyle’ factor at play here! Wouldn’t surprise me, over 150 advertisers have pulled their ads from 2dayfm since his foul ourburst last November…

  7. paul
    11 Apr 12
    3:50 pm

  8. Talia, it’s not due to that all. If people don’t like Kyle and 2Day the move the money to other stations such as nova or mix.

    Advertisers don’t stop using radio cos Kyle is on the radio, as much as Kyle would like to think they would

    TV was also down in the first quarter thsi year. It’s primarily due to consumer confidence is decreasing and there is less retail activity as retailers stop spending on advertising as their discounts are too deep to sustain advertising and 70% off sales

  9. Male Parent
    11 Apr 12
    7:01 pm

  10. Paul you may very well be right. Retailers are doing it tough. Australians are more savvy with their spending these days and especially when times are tough. This is good.
    However, I cannot help comment on Talia’s opinion of Kyle Sandilands.
    There has been a LOT of attention in the media about the loose moral and ethical standards that radio stations are governed by.
    Kyle being allowed to remain on radio is a joke. His blatant misogynistic comments have seen 2Day FM lose millions of $$’s in revenue, over 150 well-known brand companies have disassociated themselves from him, and online petitions have seen a total of over 70,000 voters putting up their hands saying “He’s gone too far!”
    Perhaps the parents of children and responsible adults alike have seen fit to identify demoralization of this medium – to a degree?

  11. paul
    12 Apr 12
    10:39 am

  12. Thanks Male Parent, but there are a lot of things out there that a lot worse than Kyle, for example – TV shows that show murder / crime etc that pass off as entertainment and advertisers place their ads in those shows. The obsession with celebrity at any cost and companies get involved with these. Adult magazines that emphasise attaining the perfect look on one page and then stating that it is ok to be yourself.

    Kyle is probably the tipping point though

  13. Chris Sherlock
    12 Apr 12
    5:55 pm

  14. I have to agree with Paul on this one. I’d say that advertisers are putting their money in safer stations where they won’t be targetted for boycotts!

  15. Sarah
    12 Apr 12
    6:36 pm

  16. Radio is a terrific medium and I am constantly amazed by how underutilised it is by certain categories for which it go gangbusters.

    Not to mention, radio is sooo cheap.