Commercial radio is a free-to-air service. Commercial radio programs must comply with conditions in the station’s licence, ACMA program standards, and industry codes of practice.

Commercial radio is a free-to-air service, making its profits from advertising revenue.

There are almost 300 commercial AM and FM licensed radio stations in Australia. Together, they make about $1 billion each year, most of which comes from the larger cities.

Licences are issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) under the Broadcasting Services Act 1992. ACMA also issue apparatus licences under the Radiocommunications Act 1992.

The content of commercial radio programs must comply with their licence conditions, their registered codes of practice and any standards made by the ACMA. These cover what can be broadcast, the classification of programs, how much advertising there is, and how to deal with complaints.

Complaints about radio programs will be assessed in terms of how they breach those codes and standards.

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A review of the local content, local presence and trigger event requirements for regional commercial radio licensees was tabled in each house of Parliament on 12 May 2015.