Digital and off-air sales are taking an increasingly prominent position for radio owners, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.
Digital platform sales topped $1 billion for the first time in 2015 and off-air sales grew 11% to exceed $2 billion. Digital and off-air combined account for nearly one-fifth of radio’s total bottom line.
By using radio’s digital and off-air platforms, advertisers are extending the scope and reach of their messaging, according to RAB President/CEO Erica Farber. “Because more consumers are enjoying experiential events or spending time on devices, off-air opportunities can build on the strength of broadcast radio and provide the ability to reach them effectively and efficiently.”
Radio ended the year flat (-1%) in total revenue at $17.3 billion versus 2014 comps, according to RAB.
There was virtually no change in ad spend (+0.4%) for radio’s top advertising category, auto dealers/groups/manufacturers versus 2014. In this category the Honda Dealers Association is number one, displacing the Toyota Dealers Association, which had that spot in 2014.
Among online accounts using radio, Edmonds.com increased spending by more than 9x over 2014, according to the RAB.
The communications/cellular category remains number two due to heavy spot volume. Three of radio’s top 5 individual advertisers are T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint.
The radio industry’s third-ranked category, financial services, grew 4% over 2014. There’s been a shift within the category. CashCall mortgage lenders is no number one in the category, having increased their advertising spend by 120%. JPMorganChase, which held the top spot last year, is now #4 after a 60% cutback.