Ciaran Cunningham, CEO, Radiocentre Ireland
Irish radio advertising amounted to €145.1m in 2021, according to new research from Radiocentre Ireland, the first of its kind in the Irish broadcasting market.
For the first time, all radio operators in Ireland have cooperated with each other to provide robust and detailed revenue data for the Irish radio market. The revenue data is based on the actual recorded revenues for each radio station in Ireland.
The €145m is much larger than previous estimates and puts radio’s share of the total advertising market in the Republic of Ireland at around 12.6% share. The research also notes that that 2022 has started strongly for the sector with revenue for January to March 2022 reaching €36.7m, up 22% on the same period last year.
“It is great to be able to provide robust revenue data for the Irish radio market and I am delighted to see that the revenue figure of €145 million in 2021 shows that radio commands a much higher share of advertising budgets than previously estimated,” says Ciaran Cunningham, CEO of Radiocentre Ireland.
“I am also very pleased that 2022 has got off to such a strong start with revenue growth of 22% in Q1,” he says.
The Radiocentre report shows that the €145.1m revenue in 2021 was made up of €117.3m of spot revenue (radio commercials) which represents 80.9% of total radio revenue. Branded content revenue (sponsorships, partnerships, content solutions) amounted to €24.2m in 2021 and digital audio revenue was €3.5m over the same period.
According to Radiocentre Ireland, spot revenue and branded content revenue in quarter 1 2022 grew by 21% and 24% respectively while there was very strong growth in digital audio revenue which grew by 48% to €1.14 million. The digital audio revenue is made up of revenue from Irish radio operators but it does not include revenue from global audio players such as Spotify or Acast.
Radiocentre also notes that while the revenue figures are strong and higher than previously estimated, the pandemic is still having an impact on direct advertising revenue in particular. Direct advertising tends to come from smaller advertisers based all around the country and direct revenue has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
“It is Radiocentre Ireland’s intention to highlight the value of radio advertising to direct advertisers and to achieve a return to pre-pandemic levels within the current year,” says Cunningham.
The research also highlights the resilience of radio, at a time when other media channels have found market conditions a lot trickier.
“ With hybrid working set to remain in place for the foreseeable future, this will continue to provide advertisers with access to robust and valuable audiences, in a trusted environment, at all times of the day,” he adds.