Radio Revenues Sink 9% in 2008; Off-Air Grows 7%

February 23, 2009

Radio revenues for 2008 plunged 9% to $19.5 billion, according to (pdf) data from the the Radio Advertising Bureau, which reports that network on-air radio advertising was flat for the year, while local fell 10%, national fell 12%, and local and national combined for a 10% drop.


The declines were attributable, in large part, to the widespread poor economic conditions that are affecting a multitude of industries and continuing to increase spending uncertainty, RAB said.

In contrast to falling on-air revenues, off-air revenue – which includes internet radio – was up 7% to $1.8 billion and is on pace to approach $2 billion in 2009, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

Q4 Revenue Slips 11%

In Q408, revenue slipped 11% from the same quarter the previous year. Local was down 13%, national was down 14% and local and national combined fell 13%. Network was down 4% in Q4. Off-air was up just 1% for the quarter.

Category Spending Data

Fourth-quarter category spending grew in Home Improvement (up 49%), Grocery/Convenience/Liquor Stores (up 4%), and Professional Services (up 1%). For the full year 2008, spending was up in Professional Services (up 6%), Insurance (up 5%), and Restaurants (1%).

In the Home Improvement category, Lowes’ spending was up 81% for the quarter, while competitor Home Depot increased spend by 17%.

In the Discount/Department Store category, Target’s ad spend rocketed 164% in Q4, compared with Q407, bringing it to the top of the category for the quarter.

Grocery/ convenience stores were mostly flat for the year, but rose 4% in the fourth quarter.

As for automotive, virtually every advertiser in the category curtailed local and national spending to bring the quarter down 40% from the fourth quarter in 2007. Despite the slip, automotive remained the medium’s top-spending category, with about 15% of total radio revenue.

“There were some standout advertisers that increased Radio spending this year across all sectors, local, national and network” commented RAB President and CEO Jeff Haley. “Major retailers in big box, QSRs, supermarket, and home improvement came on strong in Q4, as did accounts in the Communications and Insurance categories.”

About the research😕 Local, national, and off-air revenues are based on a pool of more than 100 markets as reported by the accounting firm of Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. and extrapolated to the entire US.? The methodology to derive the 2007 local, national, and off-air (non-spot) quarterly dollar amounts has been recalibrated and maintains previously reported quarterly total revenue while reflecting a shift in the dollars within the sectors. Network revenue includes the top five radio network companies. Non-spot data has been collected and verified since January of 2002, and reported since September of 2004.


Explore More Articles.

Marketing Charts Logo

Stay on the cutting edge of marketing.

Sign up for our free newsletter.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This