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iHeartMedia Retains Top Spot in U.S. Radio Revenue

Five familiar names top the list

iHeartMedia once again tops the list of U.S. radio companies when ranked by billing.

BIA Advisory Services has released its latest report of the companies it believes generated the most revenue in 2023.

A chart showing the top 10 U.S. radio companies ranked by revenue according to BIA Advisory Services

The top five positions have not changed since the year before; they are iHeartMedia, Audacy, Cumulus Media, Hubbard Radio and Beasley Media Group.

iHeartMedia had 870 AM/FM stations across 151 markets and generated $2.15 billion in 2023. “While this is down from $2.26 billion in 2022 (with 866 stations) and $2.6 billion in pre-pandemic 2019 (with 858 stations), iHeartMedia’s dominance remains clear,” BIA Senior Research Analyst Suzanne Ackley wrote on the company blog. She added that four iHeart FM stations were on the list of 10 top-billing stations.

[Read BIA’s ranking of the top-earning individual stations.]

Audacy had 227 AM/FM stations in 46 markets bringing in $1.3 billion. “This represents a decline from $1.35 billion in 2022 (with 230 stations) and $1.6 billion in pre-pandemic 2019 (with 235 stations). Audacy had four stations (two AM, two FM) in the Top 10 list,” Ackley wrote.

She said Cumulus Media Holdings came in “a distant third” in revenue, with 404 AM/FM stations across 82 markets generating $413.9 million. “This marks a 22% decrease from $493 million in 2022 (with 404 stations) and $531 million in 2019 (with 425 stations).”

Hubbard Radio was fourth, boosted by Washington station WTOPFM, the revenue-generating leader in the U.S. with an estimated $66.3M contribution, which accounted for nearly 28% of Hubbard’s revenue last year. Hubbard owns 54 stations in 10 markets, generating a total of $240.5 million. It is the largest privately owned radio group on this list.

Beasley Media Group LLC took fifth place, with 58 stations ion 13 markets combining for $232.2 million, a decrease from $248 million in 2022 (with 62 stations across 15 markets). Beasley had one station in the top 10 station list, WBZ-FM Boston.

Ackley also wrote that Urban One Inc. was one of only two radio owners in the top 10 to show year-over-year revenue growth (0.5%), rising from 8th to 6th place.

Alpha Media achieved the second-highest year-over-year growth on the list (0.2%), moving from 11th place to 10th and knocking Salem Media Group from the list.

TelevisaUnivision is the top-billing Spanish-language broadcaster in the country. “Five of the top 10 billing Spanish-language radio stations in 2023 belong to TelevisaUnivision.”

And seven out of 10 radio owners in the top ten are publicly traded while three are privately held.

BIA releases the data in part to promote its “Investing in Radio Market Report” and “Investing in Radio Ownership Report,” which are sold on its website.