Q1 showed the 5th consecutive quarter of flat revenue, says the RAB. Spot revenue was down 2%, Network revenue was down 8%. Digital revenue, still a small percentage of radio’s overall revenue, was up 16%.
“The double-digit gains in the Digital and Off-Air sectors this quarter highlight the growing interest among advertisers in utilizing Radio’s multiple facets,” said Erica Farber, RAB CEO. “With Radio broadcasters increasingly dedicating their efforts to improving and supporting their digital channels, local and national advertisers alike will find these platforms increasingly attractive to reach audio consumers.”
Commenting on Spot returns for the quarter, Farber noted that “a number of category increases offset cutbacks in spending among others whose businesses were adversely impacted by weather conditions and other factors. While Radio’s traditional top categories remain important to the bottom line, implementation of the Affordable Care Act has brought renewed interest in Radio as a communications channel, evidenced by robust increases by both Insurance and Health Care advertisers.”
Advertisers in the highly-competitive Communications/Cellular arena rang up a 33% increase over their Q1 ’13 level to rank #2 among all categories in the Spot segment; Automotive, while flat, is again Radio’s leading revenue category.
As anticipated, spending in the Insurance Companies category was up substantially (+33%) nearing the March 31 deadline for open enrollment under the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). Health Care category advertisers also upped their spending (+16%) in an effort to attract the newly insured to their services.
Home Improvement spending was up 14%, reflecting consumers’ need to deal with weather-related issues and growing home sales/remodeling efforts. Also up for the quarter were Professional Services (+7%), Concerts/Theater/Movies (+6%), and Casinos/Lottery (+3%).
Radio’s Top 10 in Q1 2014
The leading Radio spenders for Q1 2014 come from six different categories, including four Communications/Cellular advertisers and two representing Television/Networks/Cable Providers:
3) Verizon Wireless
4) Comcast XFinity Cable Service
7) GEICO Insurance Company
8) Toyota Dealer Association
10) Fox TV Network