Commercial radio contributes $1 billion dollars to Australian economy

With commercial radio in Australia turning 100, a new report has shown the industry contributes $1 billion to the nation’s annual GDP, which includes a $320 million boost to regional Australia.

The “Connecting Communities: The Economic and Social Contribution of Commercial Radio and Audio in Australia” report was commissioned by industry body Commercial Radio & Audio and produced by Deloitte Access Economics.

The study found commercial radio stations broadcast 1.1 million hours of Australian content, 2.7 million Australian songs, 42,000 hours of news and 2,200 hours of emergency service content in 2022.

The industry also supports 6,600 full-time equivalent jobs with 38% located in regional Australia.

Seventeen million Australians listen to commercial radio. 74% believe radio and audio build a sense of community. $82 million in charitable contributions were made through donations and airtime in 2022. It also plays a key role in music discovery and employs 6,600 people (FTE jobs in 2022).

The study was launched at an event at Parliament House in Canberra. Main Pic: supplied:  (L-R) CRA CEO Ford Ennals, Russel Howcroft (3AW), Kristen Davidson (Mix 106.3), Communications Minister Michelle Rowland and CRA Chair Ciaran Davis.

The first commercial radio broadcast went to air in Australia on the evening of 23 November 1923 when people across Sydney gathered in their homes to hear the wondrous new technology.  The first radio broadcast was of the St Andrews Choir performing “The Swan” on 2SB. 2SB was originally an A-Class radio broadcasting licence. Its call sign was later changed to 2BL and the station is now part of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, known as ABC Radio Sydney.

Today there are more than 260 commercial radio stations across Australia, with 220 located in regional areas and radio finding new audiences through mobile apps, streaming and podcasts.

Centenary celebrations will continue at the 2023 Commercial Radio & Audio Awards to be held in Sydney on Saturday, October 14.

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