Radio's revenue falls in 2012 but audience grows

Radio's revenue falls in 2012 but audience grows
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Commercial radio’s metropolitan advertising revenue was down 1.28% last year compared to 2011 with a drop in December revenues dampening results.

The five metropolitan markets generated $674.02m in 2012 compared to $675.1m the year before with Perth the only market to post an increase, Deloitte sourced Commercial Radio Australia figures revealed.

Perth’s commercial stations generated $91.562m last year after posting an increase of 0.27% while Brisbane experienced the largest decline of 2.52% to $106.824m.

Sydney was down 1.71% to $208.657m and Melbourne fared slightly better with a smaller a drop of 1.19% to $202.330m. Adelaide was down 0.19% to $64.645m.

Joan Warner, chief executive of CRA, said: “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.”

A strong November did not lead to a positive result for the industry in December when revenues dropped by 0.91%.

Melbourne and Perth remained resilient despite the overall fall. In Melbourne revenue grew by 2.66% in December to $16.371m and Perth’s revenue increased by 2.56% to $7.716 million.

Brisbane recorded a sizeable 7.77% decrease in December with revenue down to $8.354m.

A drop of 2.09% saw Sydney fall to second place behind Melbourne in the revenue stakes with $15.529m generated by ads.

The decline in Sydney comes after the Today Network’s infamous Royal prank call which led to an advertiser boycott and a fast-tracked investigation by the media watchdog.

Southern Cross Austereo also pledged to donate $500,000 to the family of the nurse who transferred the 2DayFM call through to Kate Middleton’s hospital ward and later committed suicide.

Adelaide was down 1.36% to $5.027m.

Despite the drops in ad revenue the industry’s weekly average audience increased to 9.5 million people in 2012 compared to 9.4 million the previous year, Nielsen surveys revealed.

Breakfast proved to the most popular timeslot followed by drive with Australians spending, on average, about 16 hours per week listening to commercial radio last year.

Radio reached 85% of 10-17 year olds each week last year, 79% of 40-54 year olds and 78% of 18 to 24 year olds. 

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