Commercial radio revenue tumbles by 47%

Advertising revenue for commercial radio stations across Australia’s metropolitan areas was down 46.62% for the June quarter, with stations bringing in just $114.104m, compared to $213.748 in the same period last year.

For the full financial year ending 30 June, 2020, revenue was down 20.39%, from $807.701m this time last year, to $643.046m.

Radio revenues continue to slide

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, cited COVID-19 as the driving force behind the decline.

“These results reflect the ongoing challenges resulting from COVID-19 and the flow-on effects that have been widely reported as impacting all local media sectors,” she said. “Commercial radio stations are operating at a time of global crisis and prividing an ongoing and vital service to communities across the country, but unfortunately strong growth in listener numbers has not yet converted into increased ad revenue.”

Warner: Radio is resilient

In the June quarter (1 March to 30 June), Brisbane faced the most significant decline, with radio revenues falling 48.48% to $16.929m. Sydney was not far behind, with a 48.45% decline to $34.040m. Melbourne fell 46.57% to $37.263m, Perth was down 43.87% to $14.806m, and Adelaide declined by 40.92% to $11.065m.

Adelaide was also the most resilient for the 2020 financial year, falling 16.41% to $58.160m. Perth suffered a 22.37% decline to report revenue of $80.246m across its commercial radio stations.

It was Sydney which was worst hit across the 12-month period, falling 21.97% to $193.571m. Melbourne was down 20.13% to $209.709m, while Brisbane fell 18.34% to $101.360m.

The figures were compiled by Deloitte and include revenue from media agencies and direct sales.

Figures from the Standard Media Index (SMI), which tracks spend from media agencies, reported radio revenue was down 55.8% in May.

Despite the challenges, Warner continued to push the strength and resilience of radio.

“We know that radio’s resilience is matched by its influence and we will carry on working with our members to communicate the value of utilising radio advertising in these difficult times, so advertisers can continue to access radio’s live and local positioning to enhance the reach and power of their messaging.”


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