Radio audience grew 2% in 2020

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 19 January 2021

More than 11 million Australians tuned in to metro commercial radio last year, according to data from Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

The annual listening summary by CRA found that 11.1 million Australians listened to radio, up by nearly 2% in a year dominated by COVID-19.

The report also found that the number of people listening at home jumped by 8% to 6.4 million.

The boost in audience was accompanied by a decline in advertising revenue for radio networks, as brands tightened their budgets due to the pandemic. 

In July last year, advertising revenue for metro commercial radio fell by more than 20% in the 2019/20 financial year to $643 million.

“Radio proved its adaptability in emergencies and continued to deliver for listeners in a year where we contended with floods, bushfires, a global pandemic and digital disruption,” CRA CEO Joan Warner says.

“Radio also showed that while we’re dominant in the car, we’re not reliant on any one platform or place of listening. There has been a strong lift in listeners across digital, mobile and DAB+ platforms and we will continue to evolve and grow those opportunities in 2021.”


Overall, commercial radio reached 77% of all Australians aged 10+ each week in the five major metro markets, with a 2% lift in listeners aged 25-39.

Meanwhile, Commercial DAB+ only stations attracted nearly 1.6 million listeners, an increase of 13% or 180,000 people compared to 2019.

Commercial Radio Australia’s annual listening summary, based on an average of the five official GfK radio surveys conducted in 2020, shows radio’s cumulative audience reached a record high and has climbed by 10% over the past five years.

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