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Radio Stations’ Digital Sales Increased by 33% in 2021

Findings are part of RAB’s 10th annual report on digital activities

Digital sales for local U.S. radio stations generated $1.5 billion in 2021, a growth of 33%, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau’s annual report on digital activities.

The findings highlight efforts of stations to drive results for local advertisers, said Erica Farber, RAB president and CEO. “The focus on the importance of digital training has produced dividends for stations and sellers alike,” she said.

The report showed that the average station made $36,250 in digital revenue in 2021 with the average market cluster making $1.6 million. Top-performing market clusters made more than $10 million, even in some of the smaller markets, RAB said.

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“I’m happy to report that we underestimated radio’s digital determination when we published last year’s report,” said Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, which compiled the report and predicted that radio sales would increase 18%.

“It’s quite impressive, especially when you see that little stat that shows how digitally savvy radio sales reps are in the eyes of local advertisers,” Borrell said in the RAB’s announcement.

The 47-page report covers the activity of some 3,000 radio stations. The findings are part of the RAB and Borrell’s 10th annual report “Finally, A Digital Bounty: Radio’s Digital Sales Rise 33%.” That annual report analyzed online ad revenue from 3,645 radio stations, survey responses from 1,107 local radio buyers and comments from 256 radio managers.

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