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Radio 2013 Revenues Flat

Digital continues to gain momentum, says RAB

Radio revenues for the fourth quarter of 2013 and full-year were flat compared to 2012, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.

RAB chalks up the difference to an influx of political spending at the culmination of the presidential campaign in 2012, while 2013 was an “off” political year.

The final figures for Q4 and full-year 2013 were $4.602 billion and $17.649 billion respectively.

Spot revenue declined 3% in Q4 2013, in large part due to it being an off year in the political arena. This was offset by strong performances in digital (+18%), off-air (+11%), and network comp (+7%) for the quarter. For the total year, spot was off just 1%, with gains recorded in both digital (+16%) and off-air (+5%); network ended the year at -4%, according to RAB.

“Digital continues to gain momentum among advertisers looking to maximize their use of all radio platforms,” according to RAB President/CEO Erica Farber. “Based on the recent Borrell Associates forecast of a 22% rise in digital spending on radio in 2014, this category is poised to surpass the $1 [billion] mark.”

Automotive retained its position as radio’s top spot category based on 2013 full-year spending, followed by communications, TV/networks/cable, restaurants, and financial services — these five categories representing radio’s top echelon consistently since 2009, according to RAB.