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23-Skidoo: Radio Revenue Plummeted in First Half

Only uptick was in 'digital' revenue; Haley sees rebound now

The U.S. commercial radio industry saw a 23% drop in revenue in the first half of this year, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau, compared to the same period last year.

The RAB said the news is not all gloom though, thanks to “increasing signs” of an improving economy.

“We are most likely past the Q1 low point for radio revenues and are now on the rebound,” according to President/CEO Jeff Haley.

Local and national radio revenue fell 25%, network business was down 11%. “Digital” platforms were up 10% while “off-air” fell 13%. RAB now separates those two latter categories. “Digital” now means revenue from Web sites, Internet/Web streaming and HD Radio including multicasts.

RAB said a lot of the weakness this year “is linked to marketers associated with the auto industry (formerly radio’s top ad category, now #3) and major retailers feeling the impact of shaky consumer confidence and spending.”

The organization also said that advertisers marketing to the “price/value” consumer are increasing their share of radio advertising.