There are currently 261 commercial radio stations on air in Australia, of which 257 are members of Commercial Radio Australia Limited. The majority of Commercial Radio Australia member stations are in regional markets with only 40 in the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth.
Following changes to ownership rules which allow owners to operate two stations in each market, there has been considerable consolidation of the industry over the past five years.
There are different types of radio stations throughout the country. These include:
* the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) - the public broadcaster. It broadcasts throughout Australia on 60 metro and regional stations, four national networks (ABC Classic FM, Radio National, ABC NewsRadio and the youth network, triple j) and an internet music based service, dig, also available on digital television channel 200.
* 259 commercial stations (three are not yet operating)
* 350 community stations
* 199 high power narrowcast stations;
* over 1,755 low power narrowcast stations and temporary community broadcasting stations.
The number of stations are expected to continue to expand over the next few years.
If radio was invented today, decades after the invention of television, advertisers and agencies would be falling over themselves to get on this new and exciting medium.
With radio, advertisers have the chance to sell wherever a consumer is listening. This could be in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, dining room, over the work bench, in the garden, at the beach or the football, in the car, in a shop, an office or a factory. The medium keeps up with the busy lifestyles of today's consumers. Radio gives advertisers the freedom to be as creative as they like, without the huge production costs and lead times.