Radio Revs Edge Up

radio Radio revenues ticked up in the last quarter, with a 1% increase from $4.55 billion in the third quarter of 2012 to $4.6 billion in the third quarter of 2013. That’s an improvement over the first half of the year, when revenues were flat compared with the same period in 2012.

The improvement is especially noteworthy because of the absence of political advertising associated with last year’s elections.

The third-quarter growth resulted from a modest increase in spot advertising, radio’s traditional mainstay, which edged up 1% to $3.68 billion; a 19% increase in digital advertising, to $244 million; and a 3% increase in off-air revenues, to $401 million.

These gains more than offset a drop in network advertising, which fell 11% to $275 million.
The biggest advertising categories by spending were automotive, professional services, health care and home furnishings. Ranked in terms of percentage increases, the fastest-growing categories were concerts, theaters and movies, up 40%; casinos and lottery as well as professional services, both up 29%; communications and cellular, up 24%; and home furnishings, up 11%.
Turning to individual advertising clients, the top spenders were Comcast, AT&T, T-Mobile, McDonald’s, Geico, Verizon, Safeway, the Ford Dealer Association, the Toyota Dealer Association and Walmart.
It’s worth noting that digital advertising remains a relatively small part of the overall radio business, making up just 5.3% of total advertising revenues in the third quarter and 4.9% of total advertising revenues for the year through the third quarter. That’s up slightly from 4.7% in 2012



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