Commentary

Digital Leading The Way For Revenue Growth in Radio

According to new research issued by Borrell Associates on behalf of the Radio Advertising Bureau, the radio industry will crack the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising in 2015 for the first time, growing revenues 18%. The report, Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations' Online Revenues, shows that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenues to grow 16% in 2014

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More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% last year, says the report.  Also, over 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either setting up a "digital agency," planning to set one up soon, or already had one.

Along with revenue benchmarking, the report offers insights into what radio managers are thinking with regard to their digital operations.  Nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital, and 77% gave sales training a No. 1 or No. 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most, says the report.

Overall, radio sellers closed $494 million in digital advertising last year, up 16% from 2013 according to the report. For 2015, Borrell expects 18% growth, to $583 million. Radio managers are continuing to see great potential in the digital space, concludes the report.

In addition to Radio’s Digital and Off-Air sectors delivering impressive growth rates throughout the year, Radio’s CEO Erica Farber says that “… Radio held its own in 2014, with Radio revenue remaining steady despite an economic businesses tightening their spending in Q4 due to reduced consumer confidence…”

Radio Revenue Comparisons 2014 vs. 2013 (In Millions)

Revenue Source

Q4 ’14

% Chg vs. ’13

$ FY ’14

% Chg vs. ’13

Spot

$3,567

 -2%

$13,633

-3%

Network

274

 -7%

1,072

-4%

Digital

253

+4%

973

+9%

Off-Air

519

 +18%

1,831

+16%

Grand Total

4,613

Flat

17,509

-1%

Source: Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, February 2015

In addition to the presented Borrell study on Radio’s digital performance, a complete Radio performance report for 2014, including data about the Top Ten Advertisers and the Top Ten Spot catagories in PDF format, may be found here, from Miller Kaplan Arase LLP.

 

 

 

 

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