19 December 2023

Commercial radio listening ends 2023 at an all-time high

2023 has been a banner year for Australian commercial radio, culminating in record audience numbers, GfK Survey 8 has revealed. Commercial radio listening has soared to a record high of 12.25 million listeners aged 10+ across the five major metro markets, underpinned by a vibrant growth in DAB+ listening and the continued embrace of commercial radio by younger listeners.
Cumulative audiences have jumped 49,000 YOY, with people listening to commercial radio for 12 hours, 53 minutes per week. Commercial radio breakfast listening increased 35,000 to 8.7 million listeners, with 71% of listeners tuning in at breakfast.
“2023 has been a boom year for commercial radio as more listeners discovered the great content available on DAB+ only stations, while remaining completely engaged with listening to their favourite commercial radio stars and stations,” said Ford Ennals, CEO of Commercial Radio & Audio.
The number of DAB+ only commercial radio station listeners was up 6% compared to the same period in 2022 and grew 14.2% over full year 2023, to 2.8 million listeners on average over the eight 2023 GfK surveys.
“Since 2021, listeners of commercial radio DAB+ only stations have grown by a massive 48%. Audiences are loving the great new content being added by the commercial networks, and DAB+ is easier to access than ever.” Mr Ennals said.
“The resurgence of in-car listening has continued, with 34.8% of listening happening in cars, and listening up 2.3 percentage points in a year. Strong new car sales, where DAB+ station access prominence is key, has also contributed to the growth in DAB+ listening.”
For this survey commercial radio station listening via a DAB+ device rather than an AM/FM receiver (also called simulcasting) was 4.6 million listeners, with 37.4% of commercial radio listeners tuning-in via a DAB+ device. Listening via device was 69.1% for AM/FM, 21.8% was via DAB+, and 9.1% via streaming.
DAB+ has empowered listeners to enjoy commercial radio how they want, while adding new favourites to their listening options,” Mr Ennals said.
People aged 10-24 are tuning into commercial radio in droves, with 87.2% of younger Australians listening for an average of 11 hours, 26 minutes a week, soaring 31 minutes YOY.  This demographic’s love of DAB+ only commercial radio stations continues to grow, with a 13.4% explosion in listeners YOY to 868,000.   Twenty-nine percent listen to commercial radio, including DAB+ only stations, via streaming for the survey period.
“We’re delighted that commercial radio has delivered a record-breaking set of numbers for the last metro survey of the year. For 2024, we anticipate another vibrant year of growth and new opportunities for commercial radio, our listeners and our advertisers,” Mr Ennals said.