Commercial radio revenue falls 6.1% over 2019 calendar year

Staff Writer

Revenue from advertising across metropolitan commercial radio stations fell to $760.799 million for the 2019 calendar year, a drop of 6.1%.

According to figures released today by Commercial Radio Australia and compiled by Deloitte*, revenue was down on the $810.322 million set in 2018 (a record high).

Looking at the December quarter specifically, advertising revenue was down to $188.049 million, a drop of 9.4% on the same period a year prior when revenue totalled $207.527 million.

Revenue for the December quarter was, however, up 3.6% on the September quarter.

All individual markets dropped; Melbourne down 10.8% to $60.838 million and Sydney 9.0% lower at $57.119 million. Brisbane declined 6.5% to $30.164 million, Adelaide was 5.1% down to $16.565 million and Perth was 13.2% lower at $23.362 million.

“The results reflected a challenging end to the year for radio and the media industry as a whole, with weak business confidence and the severity of the bushfire crisis having flow-on effects on ad spend,” said CRA chief executive Joan Warner.

Warner also said that broadcasters are working towards a return to growth this year, with plans to work with major advertisers and media agencies to promote the value of radio advertising, and on the development of the next stage of the whole of industry automated trading platform RadioMATRIX.

*The Deloitte figures report actual revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations in the five major capital city markets and include agency and direct ad revenue.

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21 Jan 2020 - 2:50 pm

What is the answer to this?
Every day I see taxi drivers hit a switch on their steering wheel when the ads come on.
And more and more younger drivers plug in spotify or iTunes etc.
Just how do we deal with people who know how to skip or completely avoid ads that keep commercial radio alive?

22 Jan 2020 - 4:22 pm

Geoff… write fun creative ads

22 Jan 2020 - 4:56 pm


Make the programming better.

There are so many shows and jocks around the country that are just comfortable and lazy doing what they’re doing. What makes great radio is when people bush boundaries, but when you’re rolling out the same tired ‘what’s ya mum problem’ on every station, of course people are going to be switching.

Gotta say, have been impressed with shows like Nova 100 breakfast, Moonman, and K&J. They’re always looking at angles and ways to keep their shows fresh.

Not Dave
24 Jan 2020 - 12:51 pm

@Geoff I think they’ll run with either:
Now Is not the time to talk about falling revenue

Thoughts and prayers.

Commercial radio is still trying to hang onto the 80’s IMO, why triple j has come though and scooped up their original target audience. When confronted with this commercial radio simply too the easy way out and have painted themselves into a corner of an aging demographic. For most commercial radio “listeners” at best it is muzak, something to coverup the background noise on the industrial world.


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