Metropolitan commercial radio stations generated advertising revenue of $644.5 million in the 2007 calendar year – an increase of 7.5 per cent on the $599.6 million generated in the previous year, according to figures released today by peak industry body, Commercial Radio Australia.

“All markets recorded growth but Perth was particularly strong throughout 2007, a similar story to last year, reflecting a very strong state economy there,” Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, said today.

According to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers Radio Revenue Performance figures, Perth was the strongest market in 2007, up 20 per cent in the 12 months ending December to $78.1 million, followed by Brisbane, which grew by 10 per cent to $101.2 million. Melbourne stations attracted revenue of $181.3 million – up 6.5 per cent and Adelaide was up 6.8 per cent to $60.4 million compared to 2006. In Sydney the market attracted revenue of $223.4 million – an increase of 3.4 per cent and a welcome improvement on the slow market in 2006.

“The industry has performed well in 2007 and surpassed forecast growth predictions – helped by the Federal election and a strong economy in the west," Ms Warner said. “This is a good result and highlights a strong performance in 2007 compared to the previous year when radio revenue grew only 1.4 per cent.”

“However, the radio industry must continue to be innovative and lead the way in developing new opportunities for attracting advertising revenue. The link between radio and online presents significant opportunities for commercial radio stations this year as does the launch of digital radio early next year,” Ms Warner said.

Commercial radio continued to attract a strong audience in 2007 with an average cumulative audience of 8.74 million – or 77 percent of all people listening each week. This figure was a 79,000 increase over 2006, when 8.66 million people tuned in on average each week.

The figures are based on an average of the eight ratings surveys conducted by Nielsen Media Research in the five capital city markets during 2007, compared with the previous year.

Breakfast remained the most hotly contested time slot in radio during 2007. Commercial radio remained the dominant medium at breakfast, with 6.7 million people listening each week during 2007 compared with 6.6 million last year.

On average, Australians spent 17 hours and 17 minutes per week listening to commercial radio during 2007, or two hours and 28 minutes per day.

People in Adelaide topped the list for average time spent listening to commercial radio each day (2 hours 37 mins), followed by Melbourne (2 hours, 33 mins), Perth (2 hours, 27 mins), Sydney (2 hours and 23 mins) and Brisbane (2 hours 23 mins).

source : Commercial Radio Australia