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Radio Sees Gain in 2Q - Broadcasting & Cable

Radio Sees Gain in 2Q

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Advertisers are spending 4% more on radio in the second quarter of 2004 than they did in the same period a year ago. But agency execs say demand may moderate somewhat.

In April, according to a recent Radio Advertising Bureau report, combined local and national radio ad sales were up 4%, versus the same period last year. National sales were up 6% over April 2003. That's the largest monthly increase for national radio this year.

Year to date (through April), combined total local and national radio revenue grew 4%, with local up 4% and national up 2%, according to the RAB.

May has not been as robust, according to radio buyers. "I see second-quarter sales increasing in the low single digits," says Maribeth Papuga, SVP/director of local broadcast, MediaVest. "Certain markets and certain networks are tight," but there are still lots of opportunities to buy spots, she says.

From a ratings standpoint, Spanish-language stations have surged in popularity, per an analysis by Interep, the New York radio ad-sales firm. Interep's review of the Arbitron local-market ratings reports for Winter 2004 (the latest available) indicates that Spanish-language stations garnered an 11.8 share, up a full point from 2003. That was second only to the News/Talk format, which collected a 16.4 share for the winter period, a drop of three-tenths of a point from 2003.

The Contemporary Hit Radio format was ranked third with an 11.0 share. Urban Radio was fourth with a 10.5 share. Stuart Naar, EVP/director of research at Interep, says that "format categories like Spanish and Urban are now mainstream."

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