Commercial radio revenue rebounds over 70% following COVID slump

Former Editor & Content Director

More statistics are pointing to a recovery for the radio advertising market, with Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) releasing figures showing revenue for May was $59.605 million, up from $34.534 million in the same month last year.

CRA said this 72.6% jump reflected a strong rebound for radio from the depths of the COVID-19 slump.

In recent years, CRA has been releasing the revenue figures quarterly, with March quarter figures down 3.76% year-on-year.

Ahead of the June quarter results, however, CRA noted that in addition to May’s recovery, April figures were also up 51.9% year-on-year to $51.636 million.

In the June quarter last year (April 1 – June 30), metropolitan commercial radio stations brought in $114.104 million, down 46.62% from 2019’s $213.748 million.

Based on today’s figures from CRA, the 2021 June quarter thus far has already amassed $111.241 million, with June figures not yet counted.

CRA’s CEO Joan Warner said it was enormously encouraging to see advertisers returning to radio in full force after a challenging 12 months.

“The industry is seeing robust activity from national advertisers and we anticipate the recovery in the SME market will continue to build in the coming months and into the busy Christmas season,” she said.

“Most major advertiser categories have recovered well and it is expected that with the new fiscal year, a fresh investment cycle is highly likely.”

On a state-by-state basis, Queensland’s relative recovery was strongest in May, climbing 77.6% to $8.965 million year-on-year. Victoria, Australia’s largest radio market in terms of advertising spend, was up 74.5% to $20.028 million. Western Australia was up 73.2% to $7.470 million, New South Wales recovered 71.2% to $17.685 million, and South Australia had the smallest increase, up 62.1% to $5.457 million.

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