There was no boost for radio in May. The RAB reported that May radio revenues declined 1%. Local was down 2%, but national flat, so total spot sales were down 1%. Not-spot was up a healthy 10%, but that didn't change the picture any. The grand total of revenues was also down 1%.
"May weakness is not due to prior year comps, as comps have been easy for the past five years. We think the biggest issue is lack of pricing power and demand, primarily as a result of the increase in shorter length spots, which actually add units while (sometimes) reducing overall minutes. Sources also tell us that overall ad budgets have come down, and that more dollars from a smaller ad pie are being allocated to 'sexy' media such as online, outdoor and Hispanic," said Wachovia analyst Marci Ryvicker after seeing the RAB numbers.
She has reduced her forecast for radio revenues. Ryvicker now expects Q2 to be up only 1%, not 2%, and she looks for the full year to be flat with 2006, not up 1% as she previously expected.