RAB reports radio in the black for both Q2 and YTD


A gain of 6% in radio revenue applies to both the second quarter and the first half of 2010, and it applies for both total spot revenue and spot revenue combined with other revenue streams. National business is leading the surge of black ink. The numbers, from the Radio Advertising Bureau based on research from Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co., show a dollar for dollar gain of more than $500M over the first half of 2009.

“Radio benefitted from strong returns in top advertiser categories in Q2,” stated Jeff Haley, RAB President and CEO, “led by Automotive, Financial Services, and in our largest category, Communications, which grew 14%. This reinforces Radio’s strategic importance to a wide range of marketers. Every revenue source is up in first half, led by Digital (+22%) and National Spot (+17%). The momentum we’ve built through the first half bodes well for Radio compared to other traditional media going forward.”

Key breakdowns for Q2: Local revenue was up 3% to $3.044B; national was up 16% to $702M (a combined gain of 6%); network was flat at $274M; digital was up 25% to $157M; and off-air was up 2% to $375M. The bottom line: a 6% gain to $4.522B.

Year-to-date numbers present a near-perfect mirror image on the percentage side: local is up 3% to $5.494B; national is up 17% to $1.27B (again, adding up to a combined 6% gain); network is up 2% to $534M; digital is up 22% to $280M; and off air is up 1% to $661M. The bottom line: a 6% gain to $8.239B.

Hot Q2 categories include communications/cellular (+14%); automotive (+26%); beverages (+11%); financial services (+22%); grocery/convenience/liquor stores (+21%); department/discount stores (+14%); and professional services (+40%).

Political was also a factor in Q2, accounting for $20.1M in spending, although much of that has been centered in California. Issue advertising led the way in Q2, and California ballot initiatives accounted for much of the spending; and so far throughout the year to date, California Republican gubernatorial contestants Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner accounted for a great deal of radio spending by actual political candidates.