Audience data: Commercial radio listening at all-time highs in 2018

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• 42% of commercial radio listening took place at home, 36% in the car

Commercial radio audiences reached an all-time high in 2018 and have grown by 12% over the past five years and by 22% over the past decade, according to Commercial Radio Australia’s annual listening summary:

The data showed more than 10.7 million people tuned in to commercial radio each week in the five major capital cities during 2018, an increase of 270,000 listeners or 2.6% over the previous year.

“2018 was a strong year for commercial radio, with gains in the all-important breakfast radio shift as well as for morning and drive time shows,” said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.

“Breakfast radio continues to be a powerhouse, attracting 7.7 million listeners every week, and has increased audiences every year for the past 10 years. That’s down to the quality of the on-air talent and being able to deliver the mix of entertainment and information that people are looking for at the start of the day.”

More than 7.7 million people tuned into commercial breakfast radio every week (Mon-Fri) in 2018, up 2.6% from 7.5 million in 2017. Nearly 6.9 million tuned in to drive radio, up 1.8%.

The figures are based on an average of the eight metropolitan radio surveys conducted by GfK Research in 2018, which involved a representative sample of 60,000 participants.

Commercial radio continued to reach Australians across all age groups, reaching 87% of 10-17 year olds, 78% of 18-24s, 78% of 25-39s, 81% of 40-54s, 77% of 55-64s and 66% of people aged 65+ every week.

Warner said it was easier than ever for people to listen to radio through multiple platforms, with significant increases in people listening online and through DAB+ digital radio, which provides access to extra stations.

More than 4.2 million Australians listened to radio via a DAB+ digital radio each week (up from 3.6 million in 2017) and 2.2 million listened online on a connected device such as a mobile phone, computer or tablet (up from nearly 1.9 million).

There was little change in place of listening. In 2018, 42% of commercial radio listening took place at home, 36% in the car, 20% at work and 2% elsewhere.  

Many regular on-air teams are back this week for the first ratings period of 2019, which started on January 20. Survey results will be released on March 12.

Sources: GfK Radio Ratings, Survey 1-8, 2014-2018, and Nielsen Survey 1-8, 2008-2013. SMBAP, All people 10+, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, unless otherwise stated.

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