Despite challenging times, UK commercial radio stations remained resilient in terms of revenues, while commercial television stations suffered, according to a new Ofcom report published today.

Commercial radio revenues grew by 1% in real terms between 2016 to 2017, to £557m, compared to a decline of 3.5% in 2017 for commercial television revenues. This was driven by real-terms increases of 1% in national advertising revenue, to £285m, and 2% in
local commercial advertising revenues, to £141m. The largest five groups accounted for 89% of total revenue, the same proportion as in 2016.

The motor sector had the highest recorded expenditure on radio advertising in 2017, accounting for 14% of total spend, followed by the finance and entertainment, and leisure industries, both of which accounted for 11% of total expenditure.81 The largest real-terms growth was in expenditure by online retailers, which grew by 73% year on year in real terms, indicating that radio advertising has grown in relevance, even for those retailers with a significant online presence.

Total radio advertising expenditure accounted for 3.1% of total UK advertising expenditure in 20178 (equivalent to 4.7% of display advertising spend), a slight increase from 3.0% in 2016. Overall, total radio advertising expenditure grew by 2.4% in real terms between 2016 and 2017, compared to a real-terms decline of 5.7% for TV and a decline of 11.6% for news brands.