Study: Radio's Economic Impact Continues to Grow
February 24, 2014

A new study by Woods & Poole Economics, with support from BIA/Kelsey, shows that local commercial broadcast television and radio contributes $1.24 trillion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 2.65 million jobs to the American economy annually. The analysis also found that both television and local radio's economic impact will continue to grow in the coming years. Additionally, the report shows that direct employment from local commercial broadcasting, which includes jobs at television and radio stations as well as in advertising and programming, is estimated at more than 313,000 jobs, generating more than $55 billion annually in economic impact. Radio specifically contributes 125,000 jobs that result in almost $23 billion in GDP.

"Broadcast radio and television stations not only provide valuable local news, weather and public affairs programming to local communities, but also serve as a key driver for economic growth in America's hometowns," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith in regards to the study. "Whether it is by providing hundreds of thousands of jobs or offering an advertising platform for small businesses, local broadcasting has an unmatched legacy as an engine for economic development and growth."

The study also examined the cascading impact that employment at local television and radio stations has on local economies through the consumption of goods and services by industry employees. Local broadcasting has a ripple effect on other industries of over $138 billion in GDP and more than 856,000 jobs, the report concluded. Broadcasting's largest impact on the American economy stems from its role as a forum for advertising of goods and services that stimulates economic activity. The study estimated that local broadcast TV and radio advertising generated $1.05 trillion in GDP and supports 1.48 million jobs.

"The advertising provided by commercial local television and radio is unique in its comprehensive coverage and very low cost to consumers," reads the report. "Local television and radio advertising serves an important role for both consumers and businesses in providing economic information on product prices and features. This information increases market efficiencies and results in greater demand for well made and well priced goods and services. The additional demand contributes to aggregate economic growth."

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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