Radio One Of The Hardest Hit With 56% Slump In Ad Spend

An illuminated 'On Air' sign outside a Radio/TV studio during a broadcast. Studio glass reflections

Australia’s media industry has felt the full consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy in May, with the ad spend down of 40.4% to $345.6 million, as reported yesterday on B&T.

Radio, however, seems to have borne the brunt of it, with a 55.8 per cent ad spend dip in May alone.

This is despite commercial radio’s average weekly metro audiences having climbed by 7.1 per cent to nearly 12 million people during the past four weeks, as coronavirus restrictions have eased, according to a GfK Radio Pulse e-diary survey released last week.

The research showed commercial radio listeners are up by 786,000 people per week, compared to the second official radio survey of the year that was released in April.

It’s not all bad news, however.

SMI AU/NZ managing director Jane Ractliffe said there was some other good news, with the market returning to a more normal position in the months of July and August, with SMI’s forward bookings data clearly showing far stronger demand for those months.

“When we look at the level of confirmed ad spend for July compared to what it was at this time last year, we can see a difference of only nine percentage points and for August the difference is even smaller at six percentage points. Given the difference in demand in May was more than 40 percentage points this shows the market is clearly regaining confidence,’’ Ractliffe said.

She said it was also important to note that while these declines are devastating to the Australian media, the same horrendous pattern is being replicated in other world markets.


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