Analyst bumps up Radio Forecast as year draws to a close


Throughout 2010 BIA/Kelsey Vice President Mark Fratrik has gotten increasingly optimistic in his forecast of radio revenues for the year. With just a month to go he’s projecting that 2010 will end with over-the-air revenues for radio up 5%, a bump up from his previous forecast of 4.4% growth.

Going forward, Fratrik is projecting steady growth, bringing radio back to about the pre-recession revenue level of 2008 by 2014. “I think it’s a recognition that radio is still a viable part of advertising mixes,” Fratrik told RBR-TVBR. His forecast chart is below.

Growth in 2010 has been far from consistent from market to market. Fratrik noted that 13 markets will be up 9% or more this year. That includes five big markets: Boston, Philadelphia, Denver, Miami and Tampa. We asked whether there was a common thread to explain why those markets were up so much more than the industry as a whole.

“Some are in the top markets, but some aren’t,” Fratrik noted, so the general growth in national advertising doesn’t explain the growth in markets where national is only a small piece of revenues. “There are some like Rochester, NY, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton [PA], Springfield, MA and New Haven [CT] that are doing pretty well this year.”

Political was a driver is some cases, but not all. Fratrik theorized that such factors as heritage stations, ownership and other local differences in stations can produce very different results in markets that appear, based just on numbers, to be identical.

BIA/Kelsey Q4 Radio Estimates - 2010

RBR-TVBR observation: The Radio business can grow in 2011 but needs knowledge of ‘New Media’.  Radio still has to engage into the ‘New Media’ world period. The radio and television industry is almost a full generation behind in what they are doing digitally.

Unlike the directory industry or ‘Yellow Pages’ which was forced to embrace digital. Radio and Television have yet to truly understand the power and dollars available to them in the digital space… mainly because unlike the directory industry which was dying fast, radio and television has not yet been forced to adapt.

As a result, they have never fully embraced the language.

The radio and television industry doesn’t posses the daily ‘Vocabulary’ to fully understand this necessary next critical step into the ‘New Media’ business.

Solution  – Carnegie note:
RBR-TVBR is going help broadcasters bring the ‘Vocabulary’ to the forefront in the New Year.

We understand Radio and TV needs to be taught the ‘Vocabulary’ of the ‘New Media’ world. Just like you we at RBR-TVBR are broadcasters and we too had to learn slowly the ‘New Media’ digital business. Just view as our proof of ‘New Media’

Our commitment is to the broadcasting business: Look for RBR-TVBR to help, teach, and take this leadership role with our reinvention of ‘MBR’ in 2011. Key interactive reports that are fully focused on the challenges that affect the broadcasters business today.

MBR will have ‘Solutions’ that are necessary to compete in today’s ‘New Media’ world. Plus it will add value to your sticks and also help teach you how to build, market, sale your websites in the media mix today.

Bottom line: We will create on going broadcaster specific curriculum to help Radio and TV executives to “catch up” and become competitive and successful.

RBR-TVBR does not do Kumbaya:  But we are exploring in producing a key conference to bring top executives together to truly learn today’s ‘New Media’ business. If you are interested tell me what you need to learn [email protected]. At 61 years of age I too have questions, I too need to learn and someone to teach, so I am just like you having a need to learn.

Just an FYI: There is no corporate money or independent wealth paying our bills – RBR-TVBR derives our income just like you – the old fashioned way – ‘We Earn It’. 2011 we enter our 28th year – RBR-TVBR has and will continue to be committed to broadcasters and our broadcasting business. RBR-TVBR is independently owned.

If you read this and agree then join us and let’s grow our broadcasting business together. Engage in RBR-TVBR and MBR in 2011. Contact Jim Carnegie [email protected] Carl Marcucci [email protected] or June Barnes [email protected] to see how you can use us to grow with us.