Radio ad revenue up in 2003

Commercial radio metropolitan advertising revenue increased by 7.8% to $267 million in the six months ending December 2003, compared with the same period in 2002, and the revenue trend looks good for 2004.

Data released by Commercial Radio Australia shows that Metropolitan advertising revenue for the full calendar year 2003 totalled $484.9 million, a 6.2% increase over 2002.

Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner says: “Radio performed better than most analysts predicted and demonstrated its resilience during an extremely competitive year. The result should also be viewed in the context that commercial radio was the only medium that experienced revenue growth through the recent advertising downturn of 2001 and 2002.

“Radio is seen as a reliable and cost-effective advertising medium which attracts a consistent and broad audience and these strengths will help the industry maintain market share in 2004 during another year of what is expected to be fierce competition.”

The data, compiled by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, shows commercial radio experienced growth in all five capital city markets in the month of December 2003, with double digit growth in Brisbane and Perth.

Warner says commercial radio broadcasters have this month launched the second phase of the industry’s $20 million national campaign aimed at attracting increased advertising revenue.

A new series of creative radio ads will be rolled out throughout 2004, with the first on-air in January delivering the message that people spend seven times longer listening to commercial radio in an average week than they do reading newspapers.

“We have been extremely pleased with the impact the campaign is having on getting the advertising industry and advertisers themselves to rethink they way they use radio in the marketing mix,” says Warner.

Commercial Radio Australia will also undertake new research this year to demonstrate the value and effectiveness of radio advertising.

“A radio awareness multiplier study in the UK found that if 10% of a given television advertising budget is redeployed onto radio, the efficiency of the campaign in building awareness increases on average by 15%. We are very interested in undertaking similar research in Australia, where commercial radio commands the bulk of radio listening.”

In 2003, commercial radio reached 80% of Australians and those aged 10+ spent an average of 19 hours each week listening to commercial radio.