Network Radio Upfront update


As the annual network radio upfront negotiating season is just beginning, RBR/SmartMedia is providing a weekly progress update, based on conversations with buyers and sellers in the marketplace for our annual two-part print feature. This week, we look at excerpts from "Digital media spend and network radio."

You can’t pick up an industry newsletter or paper today without seeing an article about the explosion of dollars going into new media. Clearly, the increasing digital media spending has impacted all traditional media spending. Susan Love, VP/Sales & Marketing, Jones MediaAmerica, has seen the most effect on their youth-oriented advertisers–candy, gum, soft drinks, health & beauty aids used to be huge network radio users.  They still use the medium but to a lesser degree.  "However, some formats like personality radio and our NFL/NCAA football and NASCAR do not seem to be affected by internet spending at all," she said.

Recently, we’ve seen a lot of press about online media spending surpassing traditional radio broadcast as well. "Despite this radio has been able to keep a fairly consistent share of advertising dollars," explains Kim Vasey, Senior Partner/Director of Radio, mediaedge:cia. "I know the industry is always looking to grow its share.  I think that with many of the new digital product offerings that the broadcast groups now offer that the industry can play in the digital spend arena.  I have not seen the growth in spending in the digital media space effect my network budgets thus far.  But that’s not to say it isn’t possible to happen in the future.  Radio broadcast groups must be very aggressive in making clients aware of their digital platforms."

"That should come as no surprise as marketers struggle to target consumers in a Starbucks society driven by choice and individuality," notes Glenn Felty, Stratus Media CEO. "However, I believe the diversification of advertising budgets to online media can be complimentary to traditional network radio.  Studies, such as the Harris study by RAEL, have already shown the powerful compliment of radio and online-that the combination of one internet ad and one radio ad is exponentially more effective than two internet ads in creating brand recall.  I think very few advertisers have tapped into the power of ‘radio plus online’.  One of the hurdles, of course, is bringing network radio and interactive departments together at the agency in order to combine budgets and leverage both mediums.  What we have seen lately is a rush to online, especially with the flurry of acquisitions in the vertical integration of technology, ad agencies and media.  There is still a tremendous amount of education needed industry-wide on bringing new media and old media together."