Commercial radio revenue slides 28% for first quarter of FY21

Commercial radio stations’ advertising revenue across the five capital cities fell 28.15% during the September quarter, the first of FY21.

According to the figures compiled by Deloitte and released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), the metropolitan radio networks recorded $130.402m of media agency and direct ad revenue this quarter, versus $181.489m for the same period last year.

In Melbourne, the market dropped by 36.61% – to $37.645m – while Sydney stations fared better, experiencing a 26.9% decline to $40.241m.

Brisbane was back 26.75% (to $21.204m), Perth 18.66% ($18.104), and Adelaide 16.66% ($13.206m).

The quarter performed better than June’s, up 14.28% compared to that Q4 of FY20, which experienced a massive slide of 46.62%. All markets were up significantly compared to Q4 – Sydney was up 18.22%, Brisbane 25.26%, Perth 22.27%, and Adelaide 19.35% – with the exception of Melbourne, which only rose by 1.03% in the midst of ongoing lockdown conditions.

CRA’s chief executive, Joan Warner, said the figures were “not surprising given the revenue results we have seen this year and the ongoing impact of COVID-19, as well as existing weakened economic conditions preceding the pandemic”.

“The positive trend in all markets from the previous quarter and less of a year-on-year decrease in overall revenue for the quarter when compared to Q4 FY20 is certainly a trend that we hope continues,” Warner said.

“Radio is resilient and remains a competitive option for advertisers. Through RadioMATRIX, the radio industry’s advanced ad buying platform, we are transforming the way audio advertising is bought and sold.

“With new developments set to go live in the coming months, we are making it easier for media buyers to understand the opportunities across radio’s diverse audio ecosystem, so advertisers can have confidence in considering radio for their upcoming campaigns.”

The results also reflect the ad spend trend as shown in the Standard Media Index’s figures. Radio spend was down 32.8% in August, worse than July’s 29% slide.


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