Radio ad revenues down in 2012, but audience grows

Radio ad revenue in 2012 closed 1.28% lower than 2011, with takings down in all markets except for Perth.

The five metropolitan markets generated a total of $674.020 million for the year, according to figures released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA). Sydney closed the year down 1.71%, Melbourne down 1.19%, Adelaide down 0.19% and Brisbane down 2.52%. The only market to record positive growth in 2012 was Perth, up marginally, by 0.27%.

The figures, collected by Deloitte, report total metropolitan radio revenue received for each calendar month and include all direct and agency revenue.

Chief executive officer of CRA, Joan Warner, says the figures reflect the tough economic conditions being experienced across the country. “Radio has had a softer year but once again has shown its resilience and competed well when compared to other traditional media.”

“Results for the year show patchy figures for the five metropolitan markets with some performing better than others at different times, again dependent on local influencing factors,” says Warner.

Month on month, December figures closed the year off with a fall of 0.91%. Brisbane was the hardest hit, taking a 7.77% dip, while Melbourne and Perth were the only markets to register an increase compared to November.

On a positive note for the industry, it closed the year with an increase in its average weekly audience. The latest metropolitan ratings figures show 9.5 million people listened to commercial radio each week in 2012, up from 9.4 million people the previous year, according to Nielsen. Radio reached 85% of 10 to 17 year olds each week, 79% of people aged 40 to 54 years and 78% of 18 to 24 year olds.

On average, Australians spent nearly 16 hours a week listening to commercial radio in 2012 with breakfast remaining the most popular timeslot, followed by drive. Nielsen data also shows that in 2012 commercial radio reached over 60% of Australians in their car each week.