The author is editor of Radio World.
The NAB this
week published its latest review of why broadcast ownership rules aren’t
working. As a side note, this chart stuck out to me. It was released in spring but I
hadn’t seen it and thought I’d share it as an interesting “big picture” view of
how various media have been doing at gathering ad revenue in recent years.
chart is originally from a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
NAB used this chart as evidence of “robust
and rapidly expanding competition from Internet-based advertising,” a
finding few could contest, even if it leads some to different conclusions than those of NAB. “According to the Interactive Advertising
Bureau, Internet advertising has grown faster than any other media category
since 2005, recently surpassing both cable and broadcast. … Broadcast
television advertising revenue has been essentially flat since 2005, and was
surpassed by Internet advertising in 2013, with cable advertising rapidly closing
the gap as well. If current trends continue, broadcast advertising will soon be
only the third-largest advertising medium, behind both cable and Internet.”
I note that radio and magazines, if not booming, also are relatively stable and do not show the precipitous drop of newspapers.
The main points in the NAB comments to the FCC are that broadcast TV stations are competing not only against
themselves in local markets; the association also says there’s no evidence
that in local markets where broadcasters are engaged in a joint sales or shared service agreement that they can charge higher rates. Further, NAB says, rules that
prevent common ownership of a radio station and TV station or broadcast
entities and newspapers in the same market do not promote localism, competition
or diversity goals. “The
newspaper-broadcast cross ownership rule, in particular, should have been
eliminated years ago,” NAB thinks. And poor
female and minority ownership should be blamed on barriers that restrict access
to capital. All these are themes that broadcasters have been sounding for some time.
You can read the RW story for more, and read all of NAB’s 187-page filing (PDF).