Community radio listenership at record high in Australia

Community radio in Australia is enjoying the highest national listenership on record, according to the latest statistics.

The most recent Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA)’s listener survey found that the sector is attracting 5.362 million listeners per week, with an increasing number of people listening to community radio exclusively.

“This new record listenership figure reflects the value that Australians place on community radio and its role in providing locally produced, diverse content and a voice for under-represented communities,” CBAA Chief Executive Officer Jon Bisset said.

“Independent, diverse and accessible media like community radio has never been more crucial to supporting an open society, strong democracy and vibrant culture.”

With more than 450 community stations to choose from around the country, the age group tuning in the most is the 25-39 demographic, accounting for 30% of total listenership.

Other demographics making a significant contribution to listener numbers are the over 55s (28%), the 40-54 group (23%) and those aged 15-24 (19%). They are divided into 55% men and 45% women.

The weekly average listening time is 15.4 hours, and 94.6% of listeners believe community radio is “quite” or “very” valuable.

The biggest reason for listening is for local info and news (48%), specialist music (31%), and local voices and personalities (31%), with Australian music and artists and independent voices not owned by big business or government also ranking highly.

The National Listener Survey is conducted by McNair yellowSquares on behalf of the CBAA, and includes a national sample of 10,000 Australians over the age of 15 through a mix of telephone and online.

The complete survey results can be found on the CBAA website.

Photo: 3CR Melbourne

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Kelvin Huggins
14 Jul 2017 - 2:36 pm

Personally, I am not at all surprised at this. Commercial radio is just full of networked crap!!! There is no choice. Localism has almost faded away. Just like regional television in a sense.

17 Jul 2017 - 10:05 am

I’m not surprised community radio is gaining more listeners, particularly in the older demographics. Look at Brisbane – there is NO commercial FM station aimed at over 40s. It’s a disgrace. Of course those listeners have to look for alternatives on community radio such as 99.7FM, 96Five and 101FM Logan. There is simply no alternative on commercial radio playing classic hits or easy listening. That is a failure of the regulator when you have a city of 2.3 million people and only FOUR commercial FM stations – what a joke.


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