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.
While broadcasters gathered in DC last week, digital folks were in NYC at the Interactive Advertising Bureau‘s annual MIXX Conference, part of Ad Week in that city. (It’s a shame that the two events are at the same time.) During their event, the IAB released its “Digital Audio Advertising Overview” Platform Status Report, a first ever effort by that organization to define the digital audio space and make it easier for digital advertisers to understand it.
The document “defines the digital audio category and provides a snapshot of the marketplace audience size and demographics as well as outlining the players in the market, the vehicles currently used to deliver content and advertising formats, and some of the most important metrics for measuring success.” It’s a white paper that provides a nice overview of Internet radio in terms of audience and measurement, ad opportunities and standards. While the report calls itself an overview of the digital audio space, in fact it concentrates solely on Internet radio – I saw no references to podcasting, on demand streaming, HD, or any other types of what I consider to be audio of the digital variety.
The paper provides research from Nielsen, Bridge Ratings, AndoMedia as well as Edison Research/Arbitron’s comprehensive annual Infinite Dial Study to define the market size, provide listening data and identify the ad units typically available. It also lists major advertisers such as Chevrolet, Ford, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, American Express and Home Depot (the list is longer), and includes a case study of OnStar on the Katz Online Network as well as Pandora.
With this white paper the IAB, the main ad association for the digital market, is finally acknowledging digital audio as a digital ad option for advertisers, so it’s a great thing. With all due respect to those involved, it’s long overdue. While there is little that’s new in the report, it’s all pulled together very succinctly into a credible presentation that sellers can use to educate advertisers. It should be particularly useful with digital ad agencies who have been slow to spend on Internet radio. Having the IAB stamp of approval means a lot.
Congrats to Brian Benedik of Katz360 and Andy Lipset of TargetSpot, co-chairs of the IAB’s digital audio committee, and the companies that are on the committee: AndoMedia, Google, Clear Channel Radio, Comcast, comScore, Cox Cross Media, ESPN, Pandora Media, and others. Hats off for a job well done.
You can download the report here.