Radio’s continued global potency in attracting and keeping mass audiences while maintaining trust and entertaining people is being championed today, UNESCO’s World Radio Day. Established to acknowledge the creation of United Nations Radio on 13 February in 1946, the 2024 theme of “Looking Forward to Radio’s Next Century” shines a light on radio’s remarkable past, current relevance and dynamic future.
“Radio is the most innovative and immediate media in Australia, and it has continually grown and evolved to suit the needs of its audience,” said Ford Ennals, Chief Executive Officer of industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA), in reference to World Radio Day.
Through profound changes in society, shifts in the economy and a transformation in technology, radio has stood the test of time. And the Australian commercial radio industry continues to thrive.
“On World Radio Day we’d like to thank the thousands of people working in the industry, dedicated to ensure that radio delivers entertainment, trusted news, emergency broadcasts, music and connection to millions of Australians listening across the nation,” Mr Ennals said.
“Commercial radio provides 7,000 full time equivalent jobs, across a range of expertise, with over 2,000 employed in regional areas. A career in radio is like no other.”
There are 260 commercial stations across the nation, with 220 in regional Australia. Commercial radio and audio contributes $1 billion to GDP, provides 1.1 million hours of Australian content, and broadcasts 2,200 hours of emergency service content annually.
“As part of our Australian radio centenary celebrations in 2023 we introduced Radio 360 – a hybrid audience measuring system which delivers total broadcast and streaming audience figures for each station across the five major metro markets, giving the industry and advertisers a clear picture of how Australians are listening today,” Mr Ennals said.
“We continue to innovate, particularly on digital platforms, stimulated by Australia’s passion for podcasts and people streaming their favourite radio shows.”
On the next 100 years of commercial radio, Mr Ennals said: “Innovation, and the continued trust of our listeners, is at the heart of radio’s vibrant future. We will see increased radio streaming and podcasts continuing their exponential listener growth in Australia.
“For 100 years, commercial radio has made an invaluable contribution to Australia’s culture, sense of community and economy, and, as today’s World Radio Day acknowledges, the best is yet to come,” Mr Ennals said.