More Marketers Turning to Digital Radio

As the economic recovery gradually strengthens, marketers continue to increase ad budgets. And for many, radio plays a key role in a balanced marketing mix. The latest report from the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) indicates that digital radio platforms are in demand.

In the 1st quarter of 2011, marketers spent $3.783 billion on radio advertising. This represents a 3% increase over the prior quarter. The growth rate puts radio stations well on their way to earning the $17.3 billion in 2011 revenue that was predicted earlier this year. Revenue by major category for the 1st quarter of 2011 broke out as follows. Note that the quarterly growth rate for the digital category was 21% :

  • Spot: $3.062 billion
  • Network $260 million
  • Digital $149 million
  • Off-​Air $312 million

The importance of digital was emphasized by Jeff Haley, RAB President and CEO, who said,“The double-​digit gain in Radio's Digital sector reflects advertisers' growing interest in tapping the power of exciting interactive capabilities in providing a return path to enhance product and brand promotion and increase sales.”

In addition, the 1% increase in the spot sector was fueled by the spending from 5 major types of marketers:

  • Communications/​Cellular
  • Auto Dealers/​Dealer Groups/​Manufacturers
  • TV/​Networks/​Cable Providers
  • Restaurants
  • Financial Services

Radio ad revenues have grown for 5 consecutive quarters. This trend bodes well for the media format as marketers understand that radio delivers a unique experience to consumers.

[Sources: National Spot Radio Up 17.7% in 2010. RBR​.com. 8 Feb. 2011; Radio Posts 5th Consecutive Growth Quarter in Q1 2001. RAB​.com. 19 May 2011. Web. 16 Jun. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.