Thanks to growth in radio’s “digital” and “off-air” business, the U.S. commercial radio industry experienced a revenue increase of 3% in the first three months of the new year.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, that was the fifth consecutive growth quarter for radio revenue, after the extended prior slump. But the core spot business was up only 1% while network business was flat.
RAB estimated U.S. radio revenue at $3.8 billion for the first quarter.
Digital — meaning revenue from websites, streaming and HD Radio channels — was up 21%, while off-air was up 9%.
RAB said that the strongest spot categories for growth were automotive, insurance and beverages.