Radio's Local Digital Ads To Jump 22% In 2014

Revenues from radio broadcasters’ local online advertising increased 13% in 2013 to $426 million, and are poised to jump 22% to $520 million in 2014, according to a new report from the Radio Advertising Bureau and Borrell Associates, based on a survey of radio broadcasters across the U.S. and Canada.
 
Interestingly, digital ad sales seem to be an entrée for radio broadcasters to a much broader business as digital marketing consultants. Local businesses also turn to radio sales staff for expertise in app development, search marketing expertise, and social media and email marketing initiatives.
 
However, digital ads currently contribute just 3% of total radio ad revenues, delivering an average $166,940 per station. Previous RAB figures showed that total digital revenues, including national as well as local ad sales, came to around $645 million in the first nine months of the year, or 5% of total revenues.
 
According to another survey of around 300 station managers by Borrell, the majority aren’t exactly blown away by their own sales efforts: 62% said they think their sales reps are wasting their time trying to sell to the wrong customers, and 92% believe their digital sales would benefit from more training. Managers also complained about the need for more buy-in and support from upper management.
 
While full-year figures for the radio industry aren’t yet available, fourth-quarter results from individual broadcast groups suggest business was basically flat in the final three months of the year. In the first three quarters, revenues were flat at just over $13 billion, per the RAB.
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