Radio Records 3rd Straight Year of Upward Momentum

Q4 Surge Represents Highest Quarterly Gain in 2 Years



New York, New York – February 15, 2013 – Radio ended 2012 on a high note with Q4 revenue up 4% over 2011 comps, to $4.349B.  This was the highest growth recorded over the past eight quarters and since the strong rebound gains registered throughout 2010.  Full-year spending was up for the third consecutive year and totaled $16.482B (+1%).


“The resurgent Automotive industry and the closely-contested Presidential political race provided the main impetus for 2012’s positive Spot performance,” stated RAB’s President & CEO Erica Farber.  “Our medium also enjoyed strong increases in Q4 spending by advertisers in the key Communications and Financial Services categories.”



“The continued stellar showing of the Digital sector – up 11% in Q4 and with an 8% edge over 2011 full year – underscores the fact that the Radio industry is finding additional ways to monetize these streams and that advertisers are taking advantage of new platforms to reach our listeners,” Farber added.


Five categories have consistently represented radio’s biggest spenders over the past six years.  This list – ranked on 2012 standing – indicates Automotive has regained the high margin of dominance among radio’s top five it enjoyed in 2007-2008, while the next four categories now contribute nearly equal dollars:



Categories posting the biggest gains in Fourth Quarter 2012 were (excluding political advertising):


                                Professional Services                                                           +17%

                                Communications                                                                 +15%

                                Financial Services                                                                +15%

                                Home Furnishings/Floor Coverings                                   +14%

                                Concerts/Theater/Movies                                                   +  9%


The leading gainers for the full year included:


                                Home Furnishings/Floor Coverings                                   +  9%

                                Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers                     +  8%

                                Health Care                                                                           +  7%


*Spot Radio, Digital 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. Digital Revenue is comprised from activity generated by websites, Internet/web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations. Network Revenue includes the top five Radio network companies. Revenue data has been randomly verified since 2002. 

The lineup of markets/stations/networks may vary from year to year.  Percent change is calculated on revenue adjusted to current year reporting.

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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