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Commercial radio audience up 1.3% to 11.2 million in the five metro capitals for 2021

Commercial radio performed strongly in another year impacted by COVID, with weekly audiences up by 1.3% to a record 11.2 million listeners in the five metropolitan capitals in 2021.

The figures from Commercial Radio Australia’s annual listening summary are based on an average of the eight official GfK radio surveys conducted in 2021.

Commercial radio reached 76.3% of all Australians aged 10+ in the five major metro markets. Listening to radio remained high across all age demographics – radio reached 85% of people aged 10-17 each week, 73% of those aged 18-24, 75% of 25-39 year olds, 79% of those in the 40-54 age group, 80% of 55-64 year olds and 68% of those aged 65 and over.

Morning and afternoons recorded growth during the year. Morning audiences picked up 54,000 more listeners to 6.3 million people listening and afternoons increased by 80,000 listeners to nearly 7 million listeners each week, overtaking drive on 6.7 million. Breakfast radio remained a popular time to listen with 7.5 million listeners.

Audiences spent a total of 12 hours and 53 minutes listening to commercial radio each week.

Nearly 140,000 listeners were gained in 2021 across multiple platforms. During another year of COVID restrictions an average of 6.5 million Australians listened to commercial radio at home each week, with the share of listening at home increasing to 50%, up 9% from 2019. Listening to radio in the car remained popular, with 8.8 million Australians tuning in while on the road.

In December last year, commercial radio ad revenue up 14.2% on previous year.

Melbourne stations reported a 16.7% year-on-year increase in ad revenue to $22.916 million in the month of November, while Sydney was 14.5% higher at $21.117 million.

Brisbane was up 14.4% to $11.239 million, Perth rose 13.9% to $9.158 million and Adelaide increased 5.2% to $5.894 million.

CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner said: “Radio continued to be a mainstay for news and entertainment throughout 2021, with trends that commenced during 2020 continuing, including more Australians tuning in from home and growth in the number of listeners during the morning and afternoon periods.”

“The summary once again highlights that radio is an effective channel to reach Australians, with its high levels of engagement and influence providing a strong call-to-action medium for advertisers.”

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