The Radio Advertising Bureau revealed that it will no longer publish quarterly reports detailing ad revenues for publicly traded radio broadcasters. Instead, it will publish reports twice a year, with a report covering the first half of the year published in August, and a second report on the second half of the year published in the first few months of the new year.
The RAB portrayed the decision as a move to bring it in line with other media and marketing trade organizations. It’s not clear whether the biannual reports, based on data collected by Miller Kaplan, will still break down radio ad revenues by major categories.
Previously, the quarterly reports provided separate figures for categories including spot, national, digital and off-air. The latter category including things like event sponsorships, experiential marketing, merchandising and related businesses.
The announcement follows a particularly weak quarter for the radio business, as reflected in the quarterly results from a number of big broadcast groups. The list of broadcasters announcing revenue declines over the last few weeks includes Cumulus, down 7%; Saga, down 1.2%; Radio One, down 4.8%; and Beasley, down 10.3%. Emmis and Entercom were both basically flat compared to the first quarter of 2014, and only iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel) saw radio revenues increase, with a 4.1% gain.
As noted, the RAB is just the most recent in a series of organizations representing traditional media to cut back on its publication of industry statistics. Last year, the MPA – The Association of Magazine Media stopped reporting quarterly figures for ad pages and rate card revenues for consumer magazines, replacing these with a new monthly report focused on magazine audiences across print and digital channels.
The new MPA report, called “Magazine Media 360,” draws on data from research outfits including GfK MRI, Ipsos, comScore, Nielsen Online and SocialFlow to measure consumer demand for a broad range of products, including print and digital editions, Web sites and video.
Also last year, the Newspaper Association of America revealed that it would no longer be releasing quarterly data on newspaper advertising and circulation revenues, following almost a decade of unrelenting losses. From now on, the NAA will only report figures on an annual basis.