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Radio market grows in UK, Finland, Australia

By James Cridland for media.info
Posted 1 February 2017, 8.51pm est

James Cridland
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Commercial radio operations in Finland, Australia and the UK are celebrating revenue increases.

In the UK, radio adspend rose by 5.6% in Q3 2016, beating the market. Australian radio continues to increase, with increases of 6.75% in December.

In Finland, the radio industry has managed what RadioMedia's Managing Director Stefan Möller calls a "double hat-trick" - increasing both sales and listening figures for three straight years. Radio advertising grew by 2.9% in the country.

The United States, however, saw a decrease of 0.5% in 2016, in spite of a hotly-contested election which normally brings considerable amounts of political advertising.

In Ireland, radio revenue also unexpectedly fell 5%.

UK: Radio adspend rose by 5.6% in Q3 2016

Radio adspend, incorporating spots, branded content and digital ad formats – rose by 5.6% in Q3 2016, reaching £157m. This is ahead of the market average growth of 4.2%, meaning that radio will grow its share of ad revenue within the quarter.

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre says: “These excellent figures for radio confirm yet again the medium’s ability to adapt to radically changing times and technologies while retaining warmth, personality and an ability to provide a connection for people and communities.”

Finland: Press release 1.2.2017

Commercial radio has made a (double) hat-trick: Sales and listener numbers grew three years in a row

According to new research by Kantar TNS and Finnpanel* that measured advertising sales and radio listening numbers, commercial radio has grown for the third year in a row. A hat-trick was achieved with record results, both in listener numbers and in ad sales. RadioMedia strongly believes that commercial radio will continue to grow this year as well.

Commercial radio continues to forge records for the third straight year. New record results were achieved on two fronts this time, as both advertising sales and listener numbers rose. Yesterday, researched published by TNS Gallup on advertising numbers in the year 2016 confirmed that radio advertising grew by 2.9% from last year's result. Radio channels' total sales rose to over 61 million euros.

Besides sales numbers, listener numbers for commercial radio continue to grow. Based on a recent national radio survey by Finnpanel, commercial radio reaches 3.7 million people in Finland weekly. On a weekly basis, 76% of the population listens to commercial radio. In comparison, Yle's (Finnish public radio) stations reach a total of 56% of the population weekly.

RadioMedia's Managing Director Stefan Möller is happy about the continued success of commercial radio, but warns that it is not a good idea to rest on one's laurels.

"Radio is an actively developing field, and we have grown to the point where nothing comes free, and new paths must be bravely ventured. Radio stations have succeeded in reaching new audiences, and new forms of collaboration have developed radio stations into a marketing communications tool," Möller says.

According to Möller, the secret of radio's success also lies in the fact that the industry has always understood that the world is consumer-driven. "Everywhere, it is necessary to be where the listeners are, and to use creative means to find all the most workable solutions to consumers' and customers' needs."

When one looks at the year that is now underway, advertising sales generally show signs of rallying, with the exception of print media. By contrast, media consumption is going through a period of transition on many levels. However, Möller sees a bright future for commercial radio.

"Music streaming services are not a threat to radio. According to research, radio is still the most popular. The average daily audio listening time for people in Finland is three and a half hours, 86% of which is listening to the radio. Even in the younger age groups (15-24 years old), over half of listening is still on the radio. I don't see a reason why growth in advertising and listening would stall this year," says Möller.

Sources: Kantar TNS mainosvuosi 2016 ja Finnpanel Oy, Kansallinen Radiotutkimus, vuosiraportti 2016 [Kantar TNS advertising year 2016 and Finnpanel Oy, National Radio Survey, annual report 2016]

Australia: Radio ad revenue strong in December

All metro markets recorded positive growth in radio ad revenue in December 2016 up 6.75% to a total of $58.837 million, according to the metropolitan commercial radio advertising revenue, sourced by Deloitte and released by industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.

The Sydney market was up 6.5% to $17.792 million, Melbourne also showed strong growth up 6.68% to $17.546 million, Brisbane rose 10.37% to $9.674 million, Perth was up 6.43% to $8.401 million and Adelaide was up 2.23% to $5.424 million.

The six months of the 2016/17 financial year shows the total market up 1.15% to a total of $395.317 million. YTD for the individual markets shows Sydney up 1.91% to $121.914 million, Melbourne up 2.15% to $121.812 million, Brisbane rose 2.15% to $62.327 million, Perth was slightly up .07% to $54.128 million and Adelaide is down 4.64% to $35.136 million.

Commercial Radio Australia, CEO Joan Warner said: “Radio performed well in December and shows overall a solid six months.”

The Deloitte figures report actual revenue received by metropolitan commercial radio stations and include all metropolitan agency and direct revenue.

James Cridland — James is the Managing Director of media.info, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. His website is at james.cridland.net, where you can subscribe to his weekly newsletter.
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