Surfing the airwaves: What do Australians think about radio?
March 6th, 2024, Samuel Tan

Surfing the airwaves: What do Australians think about radio?

On World Radio Day last month, Ford Ennals, CEO of the Australian industry body Commercial Radio and Audio (CRA) commented that radio and audio’s “vibrant future” will be driven by innovation and “stimulated by Australia’s passion for podcasts and people streaming their favourite radio shows.” According to CRA, commercial audio and radio’s contribution to the nation’s GDP currently stands at $1 billion.

Radio as a communication or advertising channel has gone through entire lifecycles in past decades and still finds room - however small - in an advertiser’s media plan.

We look at data from YouGov Profiles - which covers demographic, psychographic, attitudinal and behavioural consumer metrics - to understand radio consumption in Australia.

Radio consumption behaviour

According to YouGov Profiles data, six in 10 Australians say that they always listen to the same radio stations. This is interesting for any brand looking to reach the regular listeners of a station.

Three in 10 Australians say they notice ads on the radio more than elsewhere. While it may not suit all campaigns to have a radio-first communication strategy, data suggests that there could be some merit in using radio as a channel to reinforce messaging.

Of old and new radio

Over the years, radio has evolved from its portable hardware form to digital versions. Gone are the days when radio broadcasting extended only to AM and FM radio. Now the medium also counts internet radio and digital audio broadcasting as radio types and caters for ever smaller niches in the process.

But has it changed how people view radio itself? YouGov data suggests there are some that have come to see radio differently.

Of all Australians, nearly a quarter (24%) agree that online radio has totally changed how they see radio. A considerable proportion of Australians are on the fence with 38% saying they neither agree nor disagree with the view in question.

Looking at this through a gender lens tells us that men are more likely than women (30% vs 19%) to say that online radio has totally changed how they see radio. However, women are more likely than men (40% vs 35%) to disagree with the statement.

Tuning in

Over the last month, radio audiences have tuned into several radio stations - with 16% having tuned into ABC NewsRadio. Local commercial radio stations as a whole (outside of our named options) caught the attention of 14% of the audience.

Triple M (13%), Triple J (12%) and Nova (11%) closely follow.

Grabbing consumer attention

Flipping the script, YouGov asked Australian consumers thinking of any purchases they might make in the next two months, where would they recommend advertisers promote their offerings to catch their attention.

From the horse’s mouth, almost half (49%) of Australian consumers say brands could do well by advertising online.

Good old TV ads would be the way to go according to 41% of shoppers but just over a quarter (26%) would suggest picking radio.

Surprisingly, a comparatively smaller proportion of consumers chose billboards (19%), printed newspapers (15%), printed magazines (10%).

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Australia is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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