OFF-AIR GROWTH PACING TO APPROACH $2 BILLION in 2009
RADIO REVENUE REFLECTS ECONOMY IN Q4, FULL YEAR 2008


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New York, New York - February 20, 2009 - Radio's fortunes paralleled the U.S.economy in 2008. While the year began optimistically, factors impacting myriad industries combined to create economic uncertainty by year-end and Radio finished the year down 9%.

Reflective of the consumer mindset, advertisers who focused on the home, as well as value or price, strengthened their commitments to Radio in Q4 and throughout the year, even as many traditional mainstay spenders pulled back on their advertising.  Advertisers increasing Radio budgets may be heeding their own “value” message and capitalizing on the medium’s efficiencies.

“There were some standout advertisers that increased Radio spending this year across all sectors, Local, National and Network” commented Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) President and Chief Executive Officer 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.”

Continuing the 2007 trend, Off-Air advertising paced well ahead of total Radio spending.   According to Haley, “Radio’s stepped up efforts to follow advertiser trends to emerging media channels paid off in 2008.  Radio operators’ commitment to growing Off-Air business opportunities netted a 7% increase in this platform for the year.  This area will remain a focus as Radio rises to meet the challenges of 2009 and beyond.  At the current growth rate, Off-Air is on target to reach $2 billion in 2009.”

Network Radio, ending 2008 even with 2007’s performance, was a winner in comparison to Local and National sectors’ combined 10% decline. 

Radio won in the Political arena in this important election year.  In the thirty-five markets that report advertiser detail to Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., Local and National Radio tallied nearly $56M in fourth quarter - and closed out the year with a commanding $108.3M.  According to TNS Media Intelligence, Network Radio saw a similar influx of Political dollars at $8.1M and $20.9M for Q4 and the full-year, respectively. 

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


* 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 U.S.  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.


The RAB began reporting quarterly Radio revenue in dollar amounts with the 2007 results.

The Radio Advertising Bureau serves more than 6,000 member Radio stations in the U.S. and over 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. RAB leads and participates in educational, research, sales, and advocacy programs that promote and advance Radio as a primary advertising medium.

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If you have any questions, please email revenuereport@rab.com or call 212-681-7200.