Media advertising prices are firming up; and 2010 is going to be a significant year in terms of advertising growth due to the winter Olympics, mid-term congressional elections and the beginning of the auto industry recovery.
That's according to Marci Ryvicker, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities who follows the broadcast industry closely.
In a client update, Ryvicker writes, "The most important data point that we picked up is that price continues to firm, first in television, followed by radio and lastly outdoor (which we believe will be the last to turn positive but is not far behind, likely Q2)."
Broadcasters tell Wells Fargo that large-market radio advertising prices are pacing up double digits, with national advertising the best source of strength; it anticipates small-market radio is about a quarter behind bigger markets.
Ryvicker says many broadcasters with whom Wells Fargo talks believe that traditional advertisers will start to book ads much "earlier as we move through Q2 in order to avoid the political 'squeeze' that will begin to happen closer to the congressional elections."