“Radio’s Digital Sales Boom 33%”

Radio Sellers Rank Highest for Marketing Expertise

NEW YORK – February 8, 2022 – Local radio stations hit the jackpot with digital sales last year, generating $1.5 billion, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s 10th annual benchmarking report on the industry’s digital activities. Stations are poised to follow last year’s growth of 33% with another strong year, with digital sales forecast to grow 22%, approaching the $2 billion mark.

“The radio industry seems to have finally found its digital groove,” declares the report, published today. The comprehensive 47-page analysis, which covers the activity of more than 3,000 radio stations, was compiled by Borrell Associates and is sponsored by Marketron.

“The findings from this report highlight the rewarded efforts of stations’ digital offerings to drive results for local advertisers,” stated Erica Farber, RAB president and CEO. “The focus on the importance of digital training has produced dividends for stations and sellers alike. RAB continues to provide business and professional development training that will help stations to super-serve their local businesses.”

“I’m happy to report that we underestimated radio’s digital determination when we published last year’s report,” said Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates. “We predicted that radio would hit a double by increasing sales 18%. They hit a triple – maybe even a home run. It’s quite impressive, especially when you see that little stat that shows how digitally savvy radio sales reps are in the eyes of local advertisers.”

The annual report showed that the average station made $362,250 in digital revenue in 2021, and the average market cluster made $1.6 million. Top-performing market clusters made more than $10 million, even in some of the smaller markets.

“The local radio salesperson is now the marketing expert in their community by bringing linear and digital solutions to advertisers that produce real, measurable results,” said Todd Kalman, senior vice president of sales at Marketron. “In this report, you’ll find data and insights that position radio and digital together for new advertising opportunities in 2022.”

The findings are a part of the RAB and Borrell’s 10th annual report, “Finally, A Digital Bounty: Radio’s Digital Sales Rise 33%,” released today to RAB members. It analyzes online ad revenue from 3,645 radio stations, as well as survey responses from 1,107 local radio buyers and 256 radio managers.

Among the findings:

Advertisers now rate radio sellers higher than all competitors for marketing expertise.
Advertisers now rate radio sellers on par with or higher than competitors for digital expertise.
Nearly one in four station managers now deem their digital strategy “brilliant.”
Eighty-eight percent of radio advertisers buy digital advertising, but only 46% buy it from their radio rep. 
Twice as many stations as last year say online-only reps are the best way to drive more sales.
Virtual events didn’t stick in 2021; only 13% of stations are planning them this year.
While 44% of stations have a local podcast, only 20% have one that produces revenue.

The full report is available to RAB members on RAB.com: Click here. A live webinar featuring the survey results will be presented by RAB and Gordon Borrell at noon CT on Wednesday, February 16. RAB members and survey participants can register for free here.  

Press Inquiries: To receive an executive summary, please send an email to press@rab.com

About the Radio Advertising Bureau

The Radio Advertising Bureau is the not-for-profit trade association representing America's broadcast radio industry. Its primary objective is to drive revenue growth through advocacy, providing the tools and resources to help the industry attract new sales talent to the medium and enhance industry professionalism through training and support. RAB serves more than 6,000 member stations in the U.S. and more than 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors and international organizations. Learn more at www.rab.com

About Borrell Associates

Borrell tracks, analyzes, and forecasts local advertising for any U.S. market. Hundreds of companies license Borrell’s data via its Compass product, seen at www.adspending.com. The firm publishes regular reports on trends in local advertising and each spring holds a local advertising conference in Miami, the largest gathering of local digital media executives in the country. The company was established in 2001 and is based in Williamsburg, Va.  More information can be found at www.borrellassociates.com or by calling 1-757-221-6641.

About Marketron

Marketron empowers innovators in the broadcast and media industry to strengthen their market leadership by delivering more scalable, predictable and reliable revenue. With Marketron's products and services, users can successfully propose, price and execute multimedia advertising campaigns across all revenue streams, including television, radio, O&O and digital media. With 50 years of industry leadership, Marketron serves more than 6,000 media organizations globally and manages $5 billion in annual U.S. advertising revenue, representing more than 1 million advertisers. Marketron is owned by Diversis Capital.

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