Due to weakness in “spot,” its largest ad category, U.S. commercial radio saw overall revenue fall 3% for in the second quarter compared to a year earlier. At the half-year mark, revenue is down 1%.
The Radio Advertising Bureau says spot revenue fell 5% in Q2 while growth results were seen in the smaller digital and off-air categories, up 9% and 13% respectively. Network was flat. The “off-air” category in particular has been strong in recent quarters. See chart below.
RAB deemed the quarter’s 3% revenue drop a “moderate” performance.
U.S. radio brought in about $8.3 billion in the first half of the year, the organization estimates. Erica Farber, RAB president and CEO, said in the announcement, “While we don’t forecast, a greater percentage of radio’s total annual revenue historically comes through in the second half, and we’re anticipating that we’ll see better results by the end of this year.” (Read the full report.)
RAB said many of radio’s top categories saw “slightly diminished” spot spending in the quarter, while health care and professional services were up slightly.
Spot radio, digital and off-air revenues are based on a pool of about100 markets as reported by accounting firm Miller Kaplan Arase LLP and extrapolated to the national market. Digital revenue is activity generated by websites, Internet/Web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations. Network revenue includes seven network companies.