by Erik Sass, Friday, August 16, 2013
Radio advertising revenues were unchanged in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the year before, according to the latest figures from the Radio Advertising Bureau, which tallied total revenue at $4.66 billion.
Spot advertising, long the mainstay of the industry, was also flat at $3.74 billion, as were off-air revenues, steady at $407 million, while network advertising slipped 4% to $285 million.
As in previous quarters, the main bright spot for radio was digital advertising, which saw a 16% year-over-year increase, to $222 million.
Communications advertisers dominated radio spending, continuing a trend seen in previous quarters, with a 27% increase over the second quarter of 2012. AT&T, Comcast, and T-Mobile taking the top three spots in terms of dollars spent, while Verizon took fourth place (after McDonald’s) and Sprint was in eighth place; all five companies increased their spending substantially over the second quarter of 2012. The other spots in the list of the top ten radio advertisers were held by PepsiCo, in sixth place, Safeway in seventh, Walmart in ninth, and Geico Insurance in tenth.
Automotive advertising -- a strong category for radio in previous quarters -- dipped 11% in the second quarter, despite healthy growth in car sales, including a 9% jump in June. Beverage advertising also slumped in the second quarter, dropping 15%. On the positive side, spending grew in casinos and lotteries, up 4% in the quarter, due mostly to heavy promotion of state lotteries, concerts, theaters and movies, up 7%.
While also positive, digital advertising remains a fairly small part of radio’s overall business, with the $222 million in reported digital revenues representing just 4.7% of total ad revenues.