Off-air revenues grew 1% in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Radio Advertising Bureau/Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. figures, and that’s pretty much where the good news ends, not that the overall -11% results are likely to take anybody by surprise. At least the industry avoided a double-digit loss for the full year, thanks to the leavening affect of growth in the off air category. RAB notes that the latter is poised to bring in over $2B this year.
Here are the breakdowns:
For Q4, local is down -13% to $3.172B; national is down -14% to $735M (for a combined spot total of -13%/$3.907B); network is down only 04% to $298M; and off-air is up +1% to $444M; producing the grand total of $4.649B, down -11%.
For 2008, local is down -10% to $13.607B; national is down -12% to $2.930B (for a combined spot total of -10%/$16.537B); network is flat at $1.15B; and off-air is up +7% to $1.791B; for a grand total of -9% to $19.478B.
RBR/TVBR observation: Businesses need to generate traffic if they are going to survive whether the economy is booming or not. Radio’s affordability may well put it in a great position compared to the competition in a tough year. Our advice: Make a list of all business categories for which your clientele list has dwindled to zero. Some lucky business out there has the opportunity for exclusive ownership of that part of your airspace. That’s should be a great item to sell.