On average, up to 20 per cent of people (or around 2.24 million people per quarter hour) in metropolitan Australia are listening to commercial radio during breakfast – according to figures released today by Commercial Radio Australia. 

The same figures show that in comparison, only four per cent or around 623,000 people are watching breakfast commercial television in metropolitan areas.

The analysis of Nielsen Media radio surveys 1-8 2006 and OzTAM TV surveys for the same timeframe, shows that commercial radio on average reaches over four times more people than commercial TV in metropolitan areas nationally for the three hours from 6am to 9am.

Chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner said the figures highlight the effectiveness of radio at reaching Australians at the start of the day with further analysis showing that radio retains its higher reach until the early evening when television takes over.

On average, over 6.6 million people tuned into metropolitan commercial radio each week during breakfast in 2006. The figures also show that commercial radio breakfast reach is largest for people aged over 55 years with on average, up to around a quarter of this age group listening to commercial radio compared to seven per cent watching breakfast TV. The next largest reach is among people aged 40-54 years (up to 21%); 25-39 year olds (up to 20%); then 18-24 year olds (up to 17%) and ten to 17 years (up to 14%).

Ms Warner said that despite competition from newer entertainment choices, commercial radio continued to attract loyal audiences, with over 8.6 million Australians tuning in to metropolitan areas each week, during 2006 representing an audience reach of nearly 80 percent.  The average time spent listening to commercial radio was 17 hours and 57 minutes each week, or two hours and 33 minutes per day.

“Radio remains a crucial medium for all Australians and commercial radio remains the most important sector of the radio industry for eight out of ten people throughout Australia. Radio stays with people throughout the day, keeps people up to date and is a very portable medium,” Ms Warner said.

The figures were released on the same day as a second ad by funnyman John Cleese was aired nationally. The ad, called “Big Finish” was recorded for the commercial radio industry by Mr Cleese as part of its ongoing brand campaign, which promotes the effectiveness of the medium.

Similar to the first ad, launched last month, the ad features Mr Cleese and Australian comedian, Mark Mitchell discussing why there is no need to use glamour or glitz in radio advertising. The new ads, on-air from today, were written and produced by international award-winning director of Eardrum Australia, Ralph van Dijk.

“The figures released today show why radio is often the best answer for advertisers looking for effective and efficient forms of advertising in what is a very competitive and highly cluttered market – and this is also what the ads by John Cleese aim to highlight,” Ms Warner said.