Another way of stating it is one for one despite one: Local revenue was the driver of the overall 1% gain to 4.728B in total business. It gained 1% to 3.224B while the much smaller national category was draining 1%, dropping to 945M. Positive results in network and non-spot business (up 9% to 257M and 10% to 302M respectively) helped bolster the local comparable.
Radio Advertising Bureau noted the amazing strength of the non-spot category, which was not even on the chart before 2004 and comprised 6.4% of total radio revenue in this latest sounding. Radio's biggest category, automotive, continues to contribute to the current challenging financial environment. It was down 2.6% Q1 2007 over Q1 2006. And that's on top of a 10% decrease Q1 2006 over Q1 2005. RAB said that business from dealers was OK with a 7.7% gain, while manufacturers expenditures were down 4.2%.
The biggest growth categories were communications/cellular/public utilities and concerts/theater/movies, both up 17.3% for the quarter, and health care, up 9.5%. The communications category was coming off a 6.2% loss Q1 2006 to 2005. It was driven by fierce competition between AT&T, Verizon and Sprint/Nextel, which between them accounted for about three quarters of the category's spending. RAB highlighted gains in a handful of other categories, including beverages, casinos/lotteries, home furnishings/floor coverings, restaurants and specialty retail.