Radio Broadcasting in the UK Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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The Radio Broadcasting industry has faced challenging times over the past five to 2012-13 with revenue falling at a compound annual rate of 2.8% to £1.16 billion due to the economic downturn negatively affecting business profits and demand from advertisers along with internet-based technology providing a new interactive platform for advertisers. Over the next five years to 2017-18, a recovery in the wider economy is expected to help the industry as advertising budgets expand in response to improved business profits but revenue is still forecast to fall marginally as operators face the challenge of managing the transition to new technologies and making the most of the opportunities the internet provides.

IBISWorld industry market research
Revenue is declining as the industry adapts to the digital landscape

During 2012-13, the Radio Broadcasting industry will generate an estimated £1.16 billion in revenue, which is a 2.9% fall on 2011-12 revenue levels. Over the past five years, industry revenue has fallen at a compound annual rate of 2.8%. The development of new technology has fragmented the media market. According to IBISWorld industry analyst Andrew Johnson, “rapid uptake of the internet has significantly increased the accessibility of content and added a new interactive platform for advertisers, who are the key source of revenue for commercial radio broadcasters”. As part of Digital Britain proposals, the UK government has targeted 50% of listening via digital platforms by 2015. The internet and digital audio broadcasting (DAB) technology signal the way through this transition, but neither have provided industry-wide success so far.

Alongside the technological advances, the economic downturn negatively affected both business profit and demand from advertisers, consequently commercial advertising revenue has fallen in the recession. In the face of worsened conditions, mergers in the industry have increased the concentration at the top of the market and forced smaller operators out the other end. As part of the consolidation, both enterprise and establishment numbers have fallen across the industry and cost cutting measures have contracted employment and wages. The Digital Economy Act 2010 has also reduced regulation in the industry to the benefit of smaller commercial stations.

Over the next five years, a recovery in the wider economy is expected to help the industry as advertising budgets expand in response to improved business profit. However, spending cuts at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will have a significant negative impact on industry revenue. Overall, revenue is expected to contract marginally over the five years to 2017-18. Johnson adds, “managing the transition to new technologies and making the most of the opportunities the internet provides will be crucial for commercial radio operators”. IBISWorld expects that the merger of Global Radio and GMG Radio will prompt further consolidation among the major players of the industry in the coming years.
The UK Radio Broadcasting industry has a high level of market share concentration, with the top four broadcasters expected to account for 84.2% of revenue in 2012-13. Over the past five years, the overall market share of the top four competitors has been increasing. Major companies include the BBC, Global Radio and Bauer Media.

For more information on the Radio Broadcasting industry, including latest industry trends, statistics, analysis and market share information, purchase the full report from IBISWorld, the nation’s largest publisher of industry research.

IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Participants in this industry broadcast and transmit radio programmes to the public, affiliates or subscribers. Broadcasts are transmitted via analogue or digital signals, the internet, or cable or satellite systems. However, operators in this industry do not produce, promote or distribute taped recordings of radio programmes.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalisation & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld
Recognised as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on many UK industries. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in London, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organisations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call (020) 3008 6568.

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Gavin Smith
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