Record revenue for commercial radio unveiled

Commercial radio took more in advertising revenue in 2017 than in any previous year according to figures from Radiocentre.

Commercial radio took £679.2 million in ad revenue in 2017, its highest ever figure. This represents a 5.2% increase year on year, outperforming the total 2017 advertising industry growth estimate of 4.7% from the Advertising Association/WARC. Radio’s 2017 revenue also builds on 2016’s record ad revenue for the medium.

According to Radiocentre, 12 out of the Top 20 radio advertisers now spend more than 20% of their total advertising budget on radio, and over half of those same advertisers increased their spend by 40% or more.

Radio has enjoyed growing investment for brand-led advertising from companies such as Tesco, which used radio for its Food Love Stories campaign increasing its investment significantly to £7.8m. Online retailers also took advantage of commercial radio’s record reach in 2017 with Amazon significantly bolstering its radio investment for entertainment services such as Amazon Music and Prime and the promotion of the voice activated assistant Echo, increasing its total spend by 118% to £5.2m; eBay also increased its spend by just under 40% to £8.4m.

Sky remains the UK’s biggest radio spender increasing spend on the medium by 46%. The proportion of total media budget Sky allocates to radio also grew by over 50% demonstrating greater commitment to the medium over other media. The motor industry remains the biggest sector for radio advertising and other traditionally strong categories such as fast food brands grew significantly underpinned by increased spend across McDonalds, KFC and Dominos.

All formats, including local and sponsorship & promotion, saw increases in revenue, however there was particularly strong growth for both national spot airtime and digital advertising in 2017.

Siobhan Kenny, CEO of Radiocentre says: “Commercial radio is currently enjoying really positive momentum in terms of both audiences and ad revenues. It’s great this success is attracting new advertisers to the medium and encouraging existing advertisers to increase their commitment.”

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  1. Adrian says

    Great so all the cutbacks and dilution of output offered by local commercial radio over the past decade or more ( often with the excuse they were due to the economic climate or services not being viable ) can now be restored?-in your dreams!.

    1. Lee says

      Totally agree Adrian.

  2. Joe Smith says

    Waste of advertising money then.

  3. Neal says

    Brilliant. Turn every station into a clone of the one next to it then feed the public the same repetitive rubbish on every frequency available all in the name of the usual faceless wonders pocketing all the money they are not according to them able to make! B******t

    1. AlMorr says

      In “The olden days” there used to be a 9-minute rule about how many ads could be played per hour on Local Commercial Radio, I think the 9-minute rule now applies to how much music is played per hour, every time I hear a commercial radio station the ads are on, sounds like 9 minutes of music, 51 minutes of talk and ads.

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