Metro radio revenue down in March quarter, with Queensland worst hit

Staff Writer

Advertising revenue for metropolitan commercial radio stations was down 3.76% for the March quarter, compared to the same period one year ago.

Last year, Australia was hit by the first wave of COVID-19 and associated lockdowns at the tail end of the quarter, while in early 2021, different states were still grappling with sporadic outbreaks.

Despite the decline, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), Joan Warner, noted the tide was starting to turn.

“The figures are moving in the right direction and we’re hopeful momentum will build through the year as small business confidence grows and we see them coming back into the market and utilising the reach of radio,” she said.

December quarter figures (comparing October – December, 2019 to the same period at the end of 2020) showed a decline of 10.4%, while the September quarter was down 28.15%, making the most-recent quarter’s fall of 3.76% appear far less dramatic.

Victoria, the hardest-hit in the September quarter as it grappled with massive lockdowns and the associated economic pressures, fell just 0.12% this quarter, taking its revenues to $52.157 million.

Western Australia’s fall was also comparatively minimal, dropping 0.34% to $19.752 million.

New South Wales metro radio stations reported a 5.06% fall in ad revenue to $44.963 million, and South Australia was down 7.87% to $13.529 million.

Queensland was the hardest hit, going back by 9.10% to $23.017 million.

The figures include agency and direct revenue.

CRA said it sees future revenue growth opportunities via digital audio, podcasting and the rollout of the industry ad buying platform RadioMATRIX, which will enable media agencies to plan and buy broadcast, livestreaming and podcast advertising in one place.

The industry body also announced the appointment of Jo Dick to the newly created role of chief commercial officer, to focus on commercial strategy and developing revenue opportunities in the expanding audio landscape.

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