Commercial radio revenues down 25.2% in 2020

Former Editor & Content Director

Revenues for commercial radio rounded out 2020 25.2% down on 2019’s figures, according to Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

Radio stations across the five metro capital cities brought in a total of $572.435 million.

For the six months to December 2020, ad revenue was down 19.1% to $298.927 million.

Things appear to be turning around, however, with quarterly revenue for the three months to December 31, declining just 10.4%.

The decline was a vast improvement on that of the September quarter, which according to CRA, was down 28.15% year-on-year.

For Q4 of the 2020 calendar year, metro revenue for commercial radio was $188.049 million. Adelaide was the best year-on-year performer, reporting ad revenue of $16.121 million, a decline of just 2.68%. Perth pulled in $22.337 million (down 4.39%), and Brisbane secured $27.477 million (down 8.91%).

Things were less rosy in Australia’s more populous states, with New South Wales’ Sydney down 10.9% to $50.896 million. Victoria was, unsurprisingly, the hardest hit, with Melbourne falling 15.03% year-on-year to $51.694 million. Despite the decline, the figures reveal Victoria still has the largest share of the pie.

CRA CEO, Joan Warner, said 2020 has been one of the toughest years for all Australian media, but the latest figures are a sign that commercial radio is on the road to recovery.

“Average weekly audiences have stayed at very strong levels and that, coupled with unique local content and well-kn0wn personalities, makes radio an attractive consideration for advertisers as marketing spend returns more broadly in 2021,” she said.

The figures, compiled by Deloitte, report actual revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations via media agencies and direct spending.

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