If current trends hold steady, Olds says total revenues are pacing to grow 17% in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year -- thanks to consecutive year-over-year increases of 10%, 17% and 27% in April, May and June.
Growth was led by telecom, professional services, consumer products and retail -- which all saw even bigger percentage increases than in the first quarter, according to Olds, who also noted sustained growth in automobile advertising.
Retail is up 31.2% compared to the second quarter of 2009, telecoms 52.5%, consumer products 33.6%, professional services 38.7% and autos 29.9%. That compares to first-quarter increases of 0.6%, 21.9%, 31.2%, 14.6%, and 33.2% in the same categories, respectively.
Not every category was up: entertainment and financial services both saw ad spending decrease in the second quarter (dropping 11.9% and 16.6%, respectively). The decrease in financial-services advertising may partly reflect the end of the Federal stimulus program to bolster the mortgage market, which expired in April.
The second-quarter growth is spread across virtually every major market, with 20 out of 25 top DMAs experiencing double-digit percentage increases, according to Katz. Boston is up 50%, Houston 38%, Miami 34%, Washington, D.C. 31%, Pittsburgh 30%, Philadelphia 27%, Tampa 26%, Baltimore 23%, Seattle 28%, St. Louis 23%, Dallas 21%, Denver 20% and New York 20%.
These are heartening figures for the radio business, which experienced unprecedented declines over the two years -- but they only cover national advertising revenues, which usually represent about 15% of total radio ad revenues.
Beginning in the second quarter of 2007, the radio business as a whole experienced 11 straight quarters of declines through the end of 2009, and most of these losses were in local advertising -- the traditional mainstay of the medium.
A real recovery will depend at least as much on local as national advertising.