Digital Radio Ad Spending Surges Amid Medium's Downturn

Amid an apparent implosion in its terrestrial broadcast marketplace, radio is experiencing a digital boom. Total radio advertising declined 24% to $3.430 billion during the first quarter of 2009, according to figures released Thursday by trade association the Radio Advertising Bureau, but the radio industry's digital advertising revenues surged 13% to $101 million.

Digital, which consists of revenue derived from radio Web sites, was the only one of the five revenue categories reported by the RAB to experience growth during the quarter, and while it is the radio industry's newest source, it is beginning to nip on the heels of far more established categories such as network radio, which declined 13% to $238 million.

"Radio's digital platforms are experiencing the greatest growth and are reflective of the dollar shift from media to marketing by many of today's advertisers," stated Jeff Haley, RAB president-CEO. "As consumer and technological sophistication increases, advertisers will continue to support those platforms which appeal to their customers' increased on-demand behaviors -- and Radio is primed for it."

The digital radio advertising data is part of a regular quarterly tracking study compiled by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. for the RAB.

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