Is Audio Ad Spend Out Of Its Lengthy Slump?


Here’s an eye-popping teaser from Jack Myers TomorrowToday that’s bound to immediately attract the interest of every radio industry C-Suiter: Total U.S. audio ad spend has recovered from the 14% decline that occurred between 2000 and 2010.

Don’t pop your champagne bottles yet, radio station owners. This is driven by that little devil called “digital.”

Myers, the noted media ecologist and forecaster who cut his teeth at NYU under noted scholar Neil Postman, forecasts that, by 2020, total U.S. audio ad spend will exceed $20 billion.

This is driven “by solid growth in digital ad investment.”

Still, it’s great news for the radio industry — especially now, given the rallying cries of Entercom President/CEO David Field and likely positive outcomes from the Chapter 11 restructuring plans currently being negotiated by iHeartMedia and Cumulus Media, respectively.

As Myers sees it, audio content has fared better than print-originated content in the face of new digital alternatives. Again, radio stations can capitalize on this finding and incorporate it into their 2018-2019 sales plans.

Pity the print competitor.

Newspaper-originated ad spend declined by nearly 40% between 2000 and 2010.  Unlike legacy newspaper-originated content, audio ad offerings (linear and digital) have maintained geo-targeting attributes combined with real-time content relevance, Myers says.

The TomorrowToday study viewed all audio advertising spend, includes “legacy & digital terrestrial radio” and online-originated audio including Pandora, Spotify, podcasts, and similar audio delivery platforms.

The findings come from the 2000-2020 Advertising, Shopper Marketing and Trade Communications Data and Forecasts report, available for purchase from Media Village.