Radio Advertising Rebounds

May 25, 2010

Radio advertising delivered its best results in quarter-to-quarter revenue comps since Q1 2007 with a 6% overall increase to about $3.7 billion, according to [pdf] a new report from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).

Natl. Revenue Climbs 19%
While overall quarter-to-quarter radio advertising revenue comps rose 6%, a closer look at various segments reveals that national revenue had a much higher growth rate (19%) than local revenue (2%) in Q1 2010. However, national revenue only totaled $568 million for the quarter, while local revenue totaled $2.45 billion.


Digital Grows 18%
Digital radio advertising also experienced exceptionally strong quarter-to-quarter growth during Q1 2010, increasing 18% to $123 million. Network radio advertising grew 6% to $260 million. Off-air radio advertising remained flat, but totaled $286 million for the quarter.

Financial Services Grows 49%
Perhaps in response to the heavy damage the ongoing economic crisis has caused to the brand reputation of the financial services industry, it experienced the highest percentage quarter-to-quarter growth among all leading local and national radio advertising categories in Q1 2010, 49%. Spending for the quarter totaled $191.6 million.


Auto dealers/dealer groups, manufacturers and rentals had the next highest growth rate during Q1 2010, 39%, with total spending of $230.6 million. Communications/cellular/public utilities had the lowest growth rate during Q1 2010 (6%), but the highest spending total ($350.6 million). Home improvement spent the least, $31 million, with an 18% growth rate.

East Leads Regional Growth
Regionally, the Eastern portion of the US outpaced the rest of the nation in ad spending gains for Q1 2010, up 12.7%, followed by the Southwest and Central Regions, up 9.7% and 6.7%, respectively. Spending is up but trails nationwide growth in the West (4.5%) and South (3.5%).

Radio Ad Spending Falls 20% in 2009
In 2009, radio ad spending was down 20.3% for the year and 12.5% for the fourth quarter, according to data from Kantar Media. Local radio was down 20.6% for the year, while national spot radio was down 24.6%. Network radio was down just 8.7% for the year.

About the Data: Local and National Advertiser Category analysis is based on data from Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. X-Ray Market Reports. X-Ray Market Reports are compiled from advertiser expenditure data direct from station billing in 35 markets, extrapolated to the entire US Extrapolated dollar amounts may not be fully indicative of industry results as a whole. X-Ray Markets represent approximately 80% of the dollars from the pool of 100 markets.
Network Radio Advertiser Category spending analysis is based on data from Kantar Media (formerly TNS Media).

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