Report: Strong Digital, Off-Air Gains Help Radio Offset Spot, Network Dip in Q1 2014
May 16, 2014

Radio's Q1 2014 revenue was on par with Q1 2013 results, the fifth consecutive quarter of flat performance. Digital and Off-Air each increased 16% against last year's comps, while Spot spending was off 2% and Network declined 8%.

"The double-digit gains in the Digital and Off-Air sectors this quarter highlight the growing interest among advertisers in utilizing Radio's multiple facets," stated Erica Farber, RAB's President and CEO. "With Radio broadcasters increasingly dedicating their efforts to improving and supporting their digital channels, local and national advertisers alike will find these platforms increasingly attractive to reach audio consumers."
 
Commenting on Spot returns for the quarter, Farber noted that "a number of category increases offset cutbacks in spending among others whose businesses were adversely impacted by weather conditions and other factors."

"While Radio's traditional top categories remain important to the bottom line, implementation of the Affordable Care Act has brought renewed interest in Radio as a communications channel, evidenced by robust increases by both Insurance and Health Care advertisers," stated Farber.

Advertisers in the highly-competitive Communications/Cellular arena rang up a 33% increase over their Q1 '13 level to rank #2 among all categories in the Spot segment; Automotive, while flat, is again Radio's leading revenue category.

As anticipated, spending in the Insurance Companies category was up substantially (+33%) nearing the March 31 deadline for open enrollment under the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act (ACA). Health Care category advertisers also upped their spending (+16%) in an effort to attract the newly insured to their services.

Home Improvement spending was up 14%, reflecting consumers' need to deal with weather-related issues and growing home sales/remodeling efforts. Also up for the quarter were Professional Services (+7%), Concerts/Theater/Movies (+6%), and Casinos/Lottery (+3%).




 
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Jonathan Shuford, PD
WRVW/Nashville

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