Other findings from the Borrell survey show local broadcasters are bolstering their digital content and advertising capabilities, as two-thirds of station managers believe digital holds “significant opportunity” for revenue growth.
Indeed, over a third of radio station managers said their stations now have at least one employee dedicated full-time to digital operations and sales, compared to just 11% in 2013.
In one interesting finding, more radio broadcasters are getting into marketing and ad services traditionally associated with agencies. Here, over one-third of station managers said they are planning to establish or have already set up in-house digital agencies offering disciplines including search, social, and mobile.
According to previous studies, station managers have found these agencies useful for introducing radio advertisers to different digital platforms, boosting radio revenues with cross-channel campaigns.
However, significant hurdles also remain. Two-thirds of managers surveyed said they think their sales reps aren’t talking to the right buyers for digital ads, while 96% believe their teams need more training for digital ad sales (and 77% are making this a top priority).
It’s also worth noting that other figures from the RAB aren’t quite so encouraging when it comes to digital ad revenues. According to the industry org’s latest revenue report, radio’s total digital ad revenues (including local and national) grew just $89 million or 9% in 2014, compared to $122 million or 16% in 2013.