Commercial radio No 1 most listened to by regional Australians: CRA

Commercial radio stations were those most listened to in 26 out of 27 regional markets surveyed in 2022 according to data released today by industry body Commercial Radio and Audio.

Over 5.6 million people in regional Australia listen to commercial radio each week, based on listening numbers from the 2022 Radio Audience Measurement surveys commissioned by CRA1.

CEO, Ford Ennals (pictured), says, “Regional Australians are extremely connected to their community, and commercial radio stations are fundamental to that connection for listeners and advertisers.”

Listener numbers in 2022 grew in two out of the three major regional markets, with 9% more listeners in Canberra and 2.5% more on the Gold Coast. Audience numbers in Newcastle fell 1% year on year. 2

Ennals says, “Radio is part of almost all Australians’ daily lives, with most listening every week, either live or via catch-up podcasts to radio content. And regional markets listeners are even more committed to local news and local content in regional markets.”

Over 80% of Australians responded that radio music stations and local news reports as either somewhat or very important to them in a recent Federal Government report on the importance of features for listening to AM/FM radio.

Radio’s providing emergency warnings was considered the most important feature by 51%.3

People aged 40-54 were the biggest streamers of radio in regional Australia in 2022, with 14% using smart speakers, and 38% listening via websites or an app* (source: Xtra Insights).

Podcasting awareness is the same in regional and metropolitan markets, with around nine out of 10 listeners aware of podcasting. While podcasting has more listeners in metropolitan markets (44% listening to a podcast in the last month, compared to 34% in regional markets), regional listeners listen to more content (8:07 hours in the last week, compared to 6:36 in metropolitan markets).4

Canberra, Newcastle and the Gold Coast are surveyed three times a year by GfK, which also carries out audience listening surveys for the five metro markets on behalf of CRA.

Xtra Insights has conducted surveys in 49 different regional radio markets since it was appointed in January 2014.

Listener habits of approximately 10 regional markets are surveyed annually, with other regions surveyed less frequently.

Nineteen surveys are currently scheduled for 2023.


1 (Source: Xtra Insights Regional Surveys & GfK Major Regional Surveys – Ave Cume % of 2022 Regional surveyed markets & 2022 Canberra, Gold Coast, Newcastle applied to Total Regional Australia Population)

2 (Source: GfK Radio Ratings, Canberra, Gold Coast & Newcastle S1-3 2022 compared to S1-3 2021, Cumulative Audience (000’s), Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, People 10+)

3 (Source: Media Content Consumption Survey 2022 – Final Report.pdf (

4 The Infinite Dial Australia 2022, Edison Research


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