Radio revenues are predicted to fall 15% in 2009, to $14 billion, according to an estimate from BIA Advisory Services that has been revised downward from an originally anticipated 10.6% decline, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.
The first quarter of 2009 was the worst-ever for radio. Revenues declined 24%, following a full-year drop of 9% in 2008. If BIA’s estimate is correct for the year, the next three quarters will have to average no more than a 12% drop – which will be an improvement over Q109.
BIA’s latest quarterly “Investing In Radio Market” report? attributed the firm’s lower forecast to the fact that the recession has had a more severe effect on the radio industry than originally expected. However, BIA notes that opportunities exist for radio to make a bigger push into revenue-generating formats that can be easily expanded to the web and mobile platforms. Some stations already are making format changes, particularly to all-news, which has experienced a 9.2% rise in listenership compared with Q108.
BIA VP Mark Fratrik remains hopeful that advertising may have hit its bottom. He expressed optimism about the future of radio, saying the medium has “shown agility by adjusting its programming and how it’s delivered, and listeners are responding. These adjustments could translate into a viable way of attracting advertisers.”
Radio Advertising Bureau President and CEO Jeff Haley was similarly optimistic about radio despite a steep Q1 loss. “Radio’s digital platforms are experiencing the greatest growth and are reflective of the dollar shift from media to marketing by many of today’s advertisers. As consumer and technological sophistication increases, advertisers will continue to support those platforms which appeal to their customers’ increased on-demand behaviors – and radio is primed for it.”
About the research: BIA’s Radio Market Report is a market-by-market investment reference guide for the radio industry, delivering five-year revenue projections and radio industry trends for unique trends and analytics. The reports are updated and published quarterly after each of the Arbitron ratings periods. Each report details every Arbitron-rated market with historic and projected market demographic and financial statistics.