ACMA allocates community radio broadcasting licence in Millicent

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has allocated a five-year community radio broadcasting licence in the Millicent region of South Australia to Millicent Community Access Radio (MILCAR).

In December 2023 the ACMA called for applications for the Millicent community broadcasting licence, which uses the 107.7 FM frequency.

MILCAR has provided the 5THE FM service on a temporary licence since June 2023 and was the sole applicant for the five-year licence.

ACMA member Creina Chapman said in its application MILCAR made a commitment to build a sustainable on-air service with strong governance structures.

“Community radio provides an important platform for local voices and issues. Over the last ten months MILCAR has demonstrated that it is committed to the Millicent community and is providing local programming on the 5THE FM service,” Ms Chapman said.

“MILCAR currently has a healthy membership base and is looking to increase volunteer participation in the .

“We look forward to MILCAR delivering on the ambitions set out in its application for more local content and community participation in the 5THE FM service,” Ms Chapman said.


Australian commercial radio audiences have reached a new record, according to GfK Survey 2 2024, with 12.27 million listeners tuning in.

Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) welcomed the latest results, which showed growth in the number of listeners aged between 10 and 24, as well as those aged over 65.

“Commercial radio keeps reaching new records when it comes to the number of Australians that choose to make it part of their everyday lives, whether they are younger or older listeners” said Jo Dick, CRA chief commercial officer.

“We love to see commercial radio continue to defy the stereotype that young people don’t listen, with more than 2.7 million listeners aged 10 to 24 tuning in, a year-on-year increase of 1.6%.

“Survey 2 also shows strong growth for listeners aged over 65, up 6.2% to almost 2 million when compared to the same time last year.”

The results also stayed strong for listeners in the 25-54 demographic, with 5.9 million tuning in every week and listening for 11 hours and 5 minutes.

Those who tune into commercial radio at work are listening longer, adding over an hour of extra listening a week to lift that figure (YOY) to 12 hours 9 minutes, ahead of at-home listening at 9 hours 47 minutes.

More than a quarter of listeners are choosing to stream commercial radio, with 3.13 million listeners spending 4 hours 22 minutes listening via streaming. Commercial radio streaming showed continued strong growth, boosted by people aged 18 to 24, which grew by 6.8% with 29.7% of that demographic using streaming radio across an average week.

“While we are seeing more people tuning in via digital radio or streaming, there are still many who listen the traditional way, whether that is on a radio at home or in the car – the beauty of radio is that there are so many options for people to listen and it can go with you wherever you are,” Ms Dick said.

Source: GfK 360 Radio Ratings, SMBAP S2 2024, compared to S2 2023, All people 10+, Mon-Sun 12mn-12mn, Cume (000’s), unless otherwise stated. Weekly Time Spent Listening (hh:mm). All numbers refer to commercial radio results unless otherwise stated


Radio is holding relatively steady despite ongoing market challenges, with metro ad revenue down 5.8% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to Q1 2023, according to figures released by Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA).

The total broadcast radio ad revenue for the first quarter across the five major metropolitan markets was $146.754 million, compared to $155.825 million in Q1 2023.

“The media market has been tough for some time now, so we are pleased that radio is still remaining relatively steady,” said Jo Dick, chief commercial officer of CRA.

“Radio remains the best return on investment when budgets are tight and that is why we are still faring well compared to other media.”

“We remain positive about the year ahead, as agencies will continue to rely on radio to get the most from their investment, as the reliable, effective, and affordable choice,” said Ms Dick.

“It is also pleasing to see spending in categories such as Automotive and Government returning, and we expect to see this continue especially as we head towards an election period.”

Metropolitan radio broadcast advertising revenue results exclude digital audio streaming and podcast revenue; however digital revenue continues to show strong growth.

According to the OAER report compiled by PwC and released by IAB Australia, Australia’s online audio advertising market increased by 21% year on year to $265.8 million in 2023.

“Last year digital audio and podcasting were among the fastest growing areas of the digital advertising ecosystem, and we are seeing this trend continuing into 2024,” said Ms Dick.

The quarterly broadcast radio ad revenue figures were compiled by media data analytics company Milton Data for CRA.


The Australian Podcast Ranker has been released by Commercial Radio and Audio (CRA) and Triton Digital. Below are the top five charts for April. The complete charts can be viewed here.

Australian Podcast Ranker top five podcasts for April 2024
      Podcast Producer Monthly Listeners
1 Hamish & Andy LiSTNR (SCA) 918,977
2 Casefile True Crime Audioboom 814,928
3 ABC News Top Stories Australian Broadcasting Corporation 668,722
4 Mamamia Out Loud Mamamia 547,801
5 Shameless Shameless Media 527,448


Australian Podcast Ranker top five genres for April 2024
     Genre Monthly Listeners
1 Society & Culture 4,411,006
2 News 3,932,702
3 True Crime 3,820,224
4 Comedy 3,506,896
5 Sports 3,431,151


Australian Podcast Ranker top five podcast publishers for April 2024
     Publisher Monthly Listeners
1 ARN/iHeart 4,502,226
2 LiSTNR (SCA) 3,670,817
3 Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2,334,419
4 Audioboom 2,188,572
5 SiriusXM Podcast Network 2,100,047


Top five sales representatives by monthly listeners in Feb 2024
    Sales representatives Publishers represented Listeners
1 LiSTNR (SCA) LiSTNR (SCA), Schwartz Media, SiriusXM Podcast Network, audiochuck, Wondery/DM Podcasts, NBCUniversal News Group 7,293,169
2 ARN/iHeart ARN, iHeartMedia, Audioboom, AdLarge Media, Sport Social Podcast Network, The Investors Podcast Network, All Ears English, Sony Music, Clubby Sports, NZME, TED, The Athletic 6,913,566
3 NOVA Entertainment NOVA Entertainment, News Corp Australia,  Podshape 2,287,156
4 News Corp Australia News Corp Australia 1,645,825
5 Mamamia Mamamia 1,262,624

About the Australian Podcast Ranker
The Australian Podcast Ranker is a monthly snapshot of the top 200 podcasts listened to by Australians, the top 200 Australian podcasts, the 20 biggest publishers and the 20 most successful podcast sales representatives.
The Australian Podcast Ranker is an industry initiative commissioned by CRA and published by Triton Digital. Results comply with IAB Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines.


Industry body Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) has paid tribute to a legend of radio, Bob Rogers, after his death at the age of 97.

“Bob Rogers’ extraordinary radio career spanned 78 years – a remarkable feat and a testament to his talent, dedication, and character,” said Jo Dick, CRA chief commercial officer.

“Bob was the true definition of a radio star – working at some of the biggest commercial stations in Australia, he did everything from music, Top 40, talkback, entertainment, and racing.

“Bob joined Sydney radio station 2CH in 1995 and was on-air until he retired at the age of 93 in 2020 – an incredible achievement.

“We remain in awe of his extraordinary contribution to Australian commercial radio. He leaves a unique legacy, which lives on in the memories and hearts of his listeners, peers and colleagues.”


It has been 360 days since Radio 360 revolutionized radio audience measurement in Australia, and to mark the milestone Commercial Radio & Audio (CRA) is releasing new insights made possible by the innovative system.

Radio 360 was developed by GfK in response to the rapid evolution of audio consumption and to provide a holistic picture of listeners for agencies and advertisers.

“Radio 360 was the first hybrid audience measurement system in the world when we launched it 360 days ago,” said Jo Dick, CRA chief commercial officer. “Now, through the combination of surveys, log files, and the MediaWatch wearable technology, advertisers have a more complete picture of listeners – who they are, when they are listening, and if it’s via broadcast or streaming.”

Ciaran Davis, chair of Commercial Radio & Audio and CEO of ARN Media, said Radio 360 continues to be a success: “We know that if brands invest just 11%* of their campaign budgets in radio they can double their effectiveness – and Radio 360 now gives media planners the insights they need to have that impact.

“There has never been a better time to invest in radio – our audiences keep growing to new record-highs and we are delivering world-leading innovation when it comes to radio measurement,” said Mr Davis.

Sophie Madden, Media Federation of Australia CEO, said the introduction of Radio 360 had been quick and smooth, and offered an improved picture of radio listeners and their habits: It provides a more holistic view of the volume of digital listening and therefore helps agencies make more informed decisions in spending marketing dollars. In a fast-moving media landscape, constant improvements to how we measure and report are essential and we look forward to continuing to work with CRA on ongoing methodology enhancements.”

GfK Media Measurement Director Deb Hishon said the MediaWatch technology offered new insights into audience habits, outside of the traditional survey periods: “We used MediaWatch data to measure Summer listening and found that 91.1% of daily listeners continued to listen between 3 December 2023 and 28 January 2023, but at a slightly later time of day.

“The insights that wearable data provides were not available under the previous methodology, and it is fantastic that we can use these to further highlight the value of radio,” Ms Hishon said.

Most recently, the continuous monitoring of MediaWatch data showed a 40% spike in radio listeners during the tragic Bondi Westfield attack on 13 April, demonstrating how radio is a critical source of information for the community during significant events.

G Flip Live in Nova’s Red Room

G Flip hit the Nova’s Red Room stage for the very first time in their hometown of Melbourne, at the iconic The Gershwin Room at The Espy on Monday, February 12.

The Australian singer/songwriter, drummer and producer performed an exclusive and live 30-minute set in Nova’s Red Room for more than 550 lucky attendees, off the back of winning ‘Best Live Act’ at the 2023 ARIA Awards.

Ahead of the one-off gig, G Flip said, “I’m stoked to be playing live in Nova’s Red Room! The Espy is where I played my first gig and was my favourite venue growing up so it will be a really fun show. Thanks NOVA for having me and can’t wait to see you there!”

The Espy is particularly significant for G Flip, as it was the first official live music venue they performed at and holds a nostalgic place in their heart.

Brendan Taylor, Group Programming Director for the Nova Network, said G Flip’s debut Nova’s Red Room performance is a testament to the calibre of Australian artists coming through the industry.

“We’re really excited to announce G Flip Live in Nova’s Red Room in Melbourne. Nova’s Red Room is an incredible opportunity for fans to get up close with the world’s biggest artists and we particularly love it when those artists are home grown superstars like G. It’s been amazing to witness the rise of their career and we can’t wait to see them perform in front of the iconic Red Room neon sign.”

Tim Blackwell, co-host of the Nova Network’s Drive show Ricki-Lee, Tim & Joel, hosted the exclusive 18+ event, which included the song on everyone’s lips at the moment, ‘The Worst Person Alive’ from G Flip’s sophomore album, DRUMMER.

DRUMMER cemented the Aussie performer’s status as a formidable force when it shot to #1 on the ARIA charts and propelled G to their largest sold-out Australian tour and first US headline tour. The album received six ARIA Award nominations and two wins at the 2023 awards.

G Flip grew up in Melbourne and is an avid Collingwood supporter, making this one very special Nova’s Red Room event in the heart of Melbourne – and the first Nova’s Red Roomevent in the city for 2024.

Australia’s premier intimate live music brand Nova’s Red Room has seen over 300 international and local artists perform live for fans, including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Lizzo, Miley Cyrus, Tones and I and Billie Eilish. Fans can check out previous performances and content from Nova’s Red Room events, as well as this latest Nova’s Red Room performance, via The Nova Player App or on Nova’s socials.

Smooth FM goes out of this world with NOVA Entertainment’s latest brand campaign

NOVA Entertainment has launched a captivating new Smooth FM brand campaign that celebrates the unifying power of music.

Developed by creative agency The Hallway on Smooth FM’s new brand platform ‘Together in Music’, the campaign is spearheaded by a brand film that shows audiences that the music on Smooth FM is so unifying, not only does it transcend generations, genders, and borders – it transcends galaxies.

The film features a music-loving UFO appearing in the sky above a quiet suburban street, spreading joy and music to the residents below as the UFO tunes into Smooth FM’s frequency. Through this engaging visual narrative, we learn that the unifying power of Smooth FM has an even more profound reach that we ever imagined.

The choice of the timeless pop classic ‘We Built This City’ by Starship is a favourite of Smooth FM listeners and infuses a sense of familiarity for existing audiences and an opportunity for discovery for a new younger audience.

Adam Johnson, NOVA Entertainment’s Chief Growth Officer said, “’Together in Music’ says everything about the unifying power of the kind of music Smooth FM plays all day long, so it’s amazing to see this new positioning brought to life so powerfully by this campaign. Whilst ads from radio brands tend to follow a certain formula, we wanted this to be an ad like no other and I’m delighted with what the team have delivered.”

Dan Saunders, Creative Director at The Hallway said, “Adam challenged us to break the usual radio advertising formula and we were happy to oblige. It’s been a great collaboration and we’ve already proven that ‘Together in Music’ is a brand platform with intergalactic potential. The exciting question now is where shall we take it next?”

The film is directed by Australia’s most awarded television commercial director, Paul Middleditch, who has won over 300 awards during his career, including eight Cannes Lions awards.

Paul Middleditch said, “What an amazing project to lend my skills to as a dramatic and comic director. A wonderful script that demands cinematic expanse with a touch of craziness at the end of your driveway. That Starship track will never be the same. Loved it. So brave and great.”

The ‘Together in Music’ commercial will be screened nationally across TV, Cinema and Digital Video Channels. The campaign will be accompanied by comprehensive OOH activity showcasing another creative execution that delivers on the ‘Together in Music’ strapline. The creative titled ‘You. Me. Together in Music’ includes a series of key artist names accompanied by lifestyle images reflective of Smooth FM’s broad audience base who are united by the music.

Featuring a respected lineup of announcers, Smooth FM stations include Smooth FM 95.3 in Sydney, Smooth FM 91.5 in Melbourne and Smooth FM DAB+ stations in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, plus a range of era and mood-based DAB+ and streaming stations.

Watch the film here: Smooth FM – Together in Music 2024 Brand Film (

Campaign credits:

Creative Agency: The Hallway

Production Company: Plaza Content

Director: Paul Middleditch

Executive Producer: Peter Masterton

Producer: Mel Weinman

Cinematographer: Daniel Ardilley

Post-Production: The Editors

Post Producer: Nicoletta Rousianos

Editor: Stu Morley

Colourist: Ben Eagleton

Online: Matt Edwards

UFO: Fanatic Films

VFX Supervisor: Russell Masters

Sound: Massive Music

Sound Producer: Luci Roe

Sound Engineer: Myles Lowe

Media: Carat, Sydney

NOVA Entertainment secures Esther Carlsen as new Digital Commercial Director

NOVA Entertainment today announced the appointment of one of the industry’s most respected digital and ad tech execs, Esther Carlsen, to the role of Digital Commercial Director.

With over two decades of experience, Carlsen is uniquely positioned to drive continued momentum for NOVA Entertainment’s live and on-demand digital audio offering, ensuring advertisers can access a market-leading standard of digital product, service and capability.

Carlsen is the second significant digital ad executive appointment to senior commercial leadership positions in recent times, after Nicole Bence joined the business last year in the role of Chief Commercial Officer.

Says Bence of Carlsen’s appointment, “Audio is the fastest growing digital media in Australia and there are few executives better placed than Esther to capitalize on that opportunity. I’m confident she’ll play a critical role in continuing to drive the transformation and adoption necessary for us to not just keep pace but lead the market.”

Carlsen said, “I’m excited to be joining the NOVA team at such a pivotal point in their transformation, to become an all of audio business. After learning of the company’s vision, I believe my experience across both the buy and sell side will enable me to help clients unlock the full value of the growing audiences across the network.

“As the media landscape becomes more complex, I believe NOVA have a compelling offering that will help clients and agencies optimise their spend and maximise their reach and impact.”

Carlsen began her career as a sales leader across Yahoo7! and ninemsn, before leading Group M’s programmatic business unit, Xaxis in the role of MD. Carlsen went on to lead the local operation for consumer data business, Axciom, before leading the digital performance agency, Bench.

More recently, Carlsen worked as Commercial Director for Nine Digital Audio, and has built extensive knowledge across the digital audio data and product stack.

Continues Bence, “There is still a considerable gap between the share of audience audio currently represents, and the share of investment advertisers are committing to it. Esther’s appointment is critical to helping us close that gap, to the direct benefit of our clients and partners who we believe will become advocates for the positive campaign performance that audio – and specifically NOVA Entertainment – can deliver them.”

Carlsen starts today at NOVA Entertainment, based in Sydney and Warrane offices.

Jase & Lauren Launch Date on Nova 100 Breakfast Announced

Hosted by beloved Melbourne broadcasters Jason ‘Jase’ Hawkins and Lauren Phillips, next Friday’s launch date will treat Melbourne listeners to their first taste of the eagerly awaited new show, ahead of the Victorian Labour Day long weekend.

The three-hour debut show is set to be an exciting one, as the dynamic duo reunite to bring their unique blend of unbeatable chemistry, light-hearted humour and authenticity back to the Melbourne airwaves.

The hugely popular hosting team firmly established their place on Melbourne radio when they debuted their first show together in 2021, leading to record ratings figures when the show concluded at the end of 2023.

Jase and Lauren’s new home at Nova 100 was announced in early February, with the news attracting an overwhelmingly positive response from listeners.

Lauren Phillips said, “We’ve been genuinely overwhelmed by the response over the past few months and in particular the excitement of the last few weeks. No one is more excited to be back together and back on air than the two of us. We are counting down the minutes until next Friday. We’ve got plenty of stories to tell and lots of catching up to do. Melbourne, we are back and can’t wait to have a laugh with you.”

Jase Hawkins said, “The response from everyone has been overwhelming and we really appreciate it. It’s added a lot of pressure on that first show and those three hours of work, so I do feel we’ll need the weekend off to recover. Jokes aside, we are so pumped to have our dysfunctional family back together and we can’t wait to get on the air at Nova and catch up with everyone.”

Brendan Taylor, Group Programming Director for the Nova Network, said, “We’re so excited for Jase and Lauren to kick off their show next Friday. In their short time with us so far, they’ve settled in seamlessly with the Nova family and I know they’re going to bring their best show to listeners this year.”

The current Nova 100 Breakfast Show team Ben Harvey, Liam Stapleton and Belle Jackson will wrap up their breakfast hosting duties on Thursday, March 7, before taking the reins of Nova’s new national show Late Drive with Ben, Liam and Belle from 6pm-8pm on Monday, March 11. Since joining NOVA Entertainment in 2020, the talented threesome has delivered some excellent results and are ready to take their unique content back to a national audience.

Smallzy’s Surgery will continue to broadcast across the country on weeknights – in a new timeslot of 8pm-10pm. Kent ‘Smallzy’ Small, one of Australia’s most accomplished music and entertainment broadcasters, has hosted Australia’s number one night show since 2012. Smallzy’s love of music and his unique relationships with some of the biggest artists in the world, combined with his extensive career in broadcasting, has produced some outstanding results for Nova.

From Friday, March 8:  

Jase & Lauren can be heard weekdays 6am to 9am on Nova 100 in Melbourne

From Monday, March 11:  

Late Drive with Ben, Liam & Belle can be heard weekdays from 6pm-8pm nationally on the Nova Network

Smallzy’s Surgery can be heard weekdays from 8pm-10pm nationally on the Nova Network

Listeners can also stream the shows live or catch up with the daily podcast by downloading the Nova Player.