23 November 2023

100 years of commercial radio in Australia – with the best yet to come!

On the 100th birthday of Australian commercial radio, industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has paid tribute to all those in the industry, past and present, and the listeners, who together have ensured radio remains a much-loved, enduring part of the everyday Australian experience.
Ford Ennals, CRA CEO, has congratulated the Australian radio industry on 100 years of laughs, connection, entertainment, music, news, and community.
“Radio is the most innovative and immediate media in Australia, that has continually grown and evolved to suit the needs of its audience,” Mr Ennals said.
“You could call radio the original influencer.
“100 years ago, listeners had to buy a set that was locked to a single station. A century on and you can listen to radio in your car, on your phone, on your digital radio or through your smart speaker. More than ever, commercial radio is part of the everyday Australian experience,” Mr Ennals said.
Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland has paid tribute to commercial radio’s longevity and growth.
“Over the century – through war, drought and flood, and through profound changes in society, shifts in the economy and a transformation in technology – radio has stood the test of time and continues to punch above its weight when it comes to contributing to the diversity of voices and local stories in our media sector,” Minister Rowland said.
There are 260 commercial stations across the nation, with 220 in regional Australia. Commercial radio and audio contribute $1 billion to GDP and support 6,600 full-time equivalent jobs. 38% of those employed in the industry are in regional areas*.
On the future and the next 100 years of commercial radio, Mr Ennals said: ““As long as we have stories to share and people have ears, there will be radio. Its form and means of distribution may change, but radio’s place in people’s lives will remain as central as ever.
“We will see increased radio streaming and podcasts continuing their vibrant listener growth in Australia; but however we listen, it’s certain that we will continue to wake up to our favourite radio hosts and switch on radio whenever we get into our car, for a traffic update, a song or just to connect.
“For 100 years, commercial radio has made an invaluable contribution to Australia’s culture, sense of community and economy, and the best is yet to come,” Mr Ennals said.
*Deloitte Access Economics report, Connecting Communities: The economic and social contribution of commercial radio and audio in Australia 2023