Radio treads water in Q1 2013


RAB / Radio Advertising BureauSpot sales were down during the first three months of 2013, but increased results in digital and off air income saved the bottom line from being presented in red ink. In all, the industry brought home more than $3.5B in revenue.

Spot was down 2% to $3.002B, but digital increased 9% to $179M and off-air was up 5% to $338M, enough to mitigate the sluggish on-air results.

The stats are from Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, which noted the absence of information on radio network income due to insufficient participation from that sector of the radio business.

RAB President/CEO Erica Farber commented, “Major increases in radio advertising by Communications/Cellular and Financial Services went a long way to offset a drop in Automotive spending, Additionally, spending is up in the Department/Discount Stores category – reflecting increased confidence among retailers who have experienced radio’s ability to drive traffic and sales.”

Farber continued, “Radio’s digital sector revenue continues to grow as radio stations invest in and promote their digital offerings to listeners, driving increased attention by the ad buying community.”

Automotive was the biggest disappointment for the quarter. RAB said that dealers were reacting to early sales challenges by offering incentives and cutting back on advertising. The Communications/Cellular category was stellar, on the other hand, rising 36% over Q1 2012 results.