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Radio hits highest ever adspend year as travel brands return

Radio hits highest ever adspend year as travel brands return

Commercial radio took in £718.7m in ad revenue last year – the highest amount in three years – thanks to a return in travel and transport spending after the pandemic lockdowns.

Latest sector data from industry body Radiocentre revealed radio’s ad revenue for 2021 broke the previous record of £713.6m set in 2018 and represents a 25% year-on-year increase versus a pandemic-hit 2020.

The medium was boosted by 87% year-on-year growth in spend among Travel and transport advertisers to £51.0m in 2021.

Digital radio ad formats were the fastest-growing element and now represent around 10% of total ad revenue for the sector.

Entertainment and Leisure, Government, Finance, and Motors continue to be the highest-spending sectors for radio advertising, Radiocentre said.

There was also a significant growth in spend from individual advertisers such as online motors brands WeBuyAnyCar, whose radio ads feature brand spokesman Philip Schofield (pictured, main image) and Cinch. Other growing spenders included supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as consumer tech and retail giants Samsung and Amazon.

Last week’s Rajar figures showed commercial radio has increased its share of total listening time to 48%, up from 47.1% in the previous quarter.

Ian Moss, CEO of Radiocentre, said: “It is fantastic to see revenues at a record high this year particularly after a challenging couple of years.  These figures show radio has a really strong foundation to build on as we come out the other side of the pandemic and demonstrates that investment in digital platforms continue to pay off”.

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