Digital Revenues Becoming More Important To Radio

Broadcasters saw relief from declining spot revenues by selling more digital in the second quarter, according to new figures reported by the Radio Advertising Bureau. Digital revenues, including activity generated by websites, Internet/web streaming and HD Radio including HD2 and HD3 stations, was up 18% over the previous year’s second quarter. Those digital revenues are up 19% over last year.

Overall, spot revenues meanwhile are down – by 1% versus second quarter 2010, and flat for the year. There’s a stronger decline in national spot sales, with national radio rep Katz reporting a decline of nearly 3% in second quarter sales over a year ago separately last week.

Meanwhile, Katz 360, the digital sales arm of the Katz Media Group, has launched Katz 360 Local Media, a new online display advertising vehicle that offers advertisers premium placements on radio, television and newspaper publisher sites. That division will sell an aggregated network of nearly 50 million unique monthly visitors and one billion page views, according to July’s Comscore report.

Putting more focus on digital in general and mobile in particular is exactly what Borrell Associates recommends. Their latest report projects mobile audio ad spending will reach $667 million by 2016 — up from $161 million in 2011, with the bulk of that spending coming from local advertisers. Borrell thinks that radio has been missing the boat when it comes to using their local market knowledge and sales forces to capitalize on digital and mobile ad sales opportunities.

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