Why Spotify Hasn’t Killed the Radio Star


Reading Time: 3 mins

In 2018, we’re overwhelmed by choice when it comes to information platforms. What’s extraordinary in this information superage is just how strong radio remains, despite commentators regularly predicting its demise. Well over a century old, free-to-air radio is still a popular choice for music, news, opinion, sports and – as a result – advertising.

Australian radio advertising spend has been on the rise in 2018. Mumbrella recently reported growth of 11.1% for radio in May 2018. In contrast, magazine advertising was down 29.8%.

National body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) also reported that in 2017 more Australians tuned into commercial radio than ever before, with an average cumulative audience of nearly 10.5 million people across metropolitan areas.

It’s also touching broad demographics. Chief Executive of CRA, Joan Warner, says that it’s a misconception that young people aren’t tuning into radio.

“The data shows it’s one of their favourite mediums, with 79% of 18-24 year olds tuning in every week.”

In our information-rich modern world of entertainment and music playback, radio has outlived VHS, cassettes and CDs. It is also still thriving in “the Golden Age of Podcasts”, Spotify and live-streaming.

So, just what it is it about radio that has led to its enduring popularity?

It’s a Great Way to Discover New Music.

According to market research giants Nielsen, radio is still the number one way Americans discover new music. Their 2017 Music 360 report showed that 49% of respondents still used radio to find new tunes, versus 27% for online services.

This trend is echoed in Australia, particularly in the morning, with almost 30% of Australians listening to a breakfast radio station and during their drive home. Marginally more popular in older listeners, radio is still proving popular with Generations Y and Z, partly because it has adapted through the development of apps and streaming services.

It’s the Ultimate Cult of Personality.

Another reason listeners tune in is loyalty to star radio DJs. In Australia, Kyle and Jackie O (KIIS 106.5), Alan Jones (Announcer, 2GB), Eddie Maguire (Breakfast, Triple M) and Hamish and Andy are national names with a huge following. Radio has proved to be an enduring platform and launchpad for talent.

It’s All About Community.

Social platforms, podcasts and the individualised nature of modern media has led to a wealth of ‘communities’ forming across the world. Many of these run parallel to each other and never intersect. The power of radio remains that it connects a broader, general audience who live in geographical proximity to each other. Being connected with your neighbours and community members has an enduring appeal.

Is it time you considered increasing your radio advertising spend? We’re a full-service creative agency that knows the Sydney market. Get in touch today to talk about how your brand can reach the right person, at the right time.