Automotive advertising on radio to decline through to 2022 [report]

Former Editor & Content Director

Radio may be an important medium for car brands to reach consumers, however the sector’s spend will continue to decline over the coming years.

This is according to Zenith’s Automotive Advertising Expenditure Forecast, which predicts a 7% decline in automotive spending on radio between 2019 and 2022.

Zenith dubs itself an ‘ROI agency’ which specialises in media planning, content, performance and data.

The report noted radio is a particularly relevant medium for automotive advertisers, given the larger proportion of radio listening which takes place in the car.

It predicted that digital will be the only channel in which car brands increase their spend by 2022, climbing 9% compared to 2019 spend figures. Newspaper spend, it predicted, will tumble by 27% and magazines by an even larger 28%, and out-of-home could fall by 10%, and cinema by 16% – all making radio’s 7% decline look relatively restrained.

The forecast echoes sentiment from Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) CEO Joan Warner who told Radio Today earlier this week that a number of radio’s key advertising verticals had taken big business hits throughout the pandemic.

“Some of our biggest sectors were the first to close down, and then last to open up,” she said in reference to radio’s reliance in ads from brands in the tourism, airline and hospitality sectors. “Of course, you’ve got cafes and pubs and clubs, which are also one of our biggest sectors – hospitality – again were some of the most affected. And cars, car sales.”

She noted confidence was beginning to return to some of radio’s biggest ad sectors, which should be further buoyed by the lead-up to Christmas and the easing of restrictions, and also urged marketers and media planners/ buyers to place more of their budget with radio.

Zenith’s report covers multiple markets, including Australia.

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