Advertising spending on radio bounced back in first quarter, up 6 percent to nearly $3.4 billion, according to figures released Friday (May 21) by the Radio Advertising Bureau.
National spot led the recovery up 19 percent to $568 million, compared to a tepid local market, up only 2 percent to nearly $2.5 billion. Network was healthy, up 6 percent to $260 million.
Though still only a small percentage of radio station revenue, digital (which includes online and HD side channels) continues to gain momentum, up 18 percent to $123 million, eclipsing off-air revenue, which was flat at $286 million.
“Spending levels in important radio categories such as automotive, communications, TV and cable; financial services, grocery and retail are all up significantly from what we saw a year ago,” said Jeff Haley, CEO of the RAB.
Advertising categories that increased budgets in radio include: telecom, up 6 percent; TV and cable, up 23 percent; auto, up 39 percent; financial services, up 49 percent; grocery, convenience and liquor stores, up 27 percent; and home improvement, up 18 percent.
Retailers that increased radio ad budgets include Walmart, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Burlington Coat Factor, Meijer Discount Department Store and Orchard Supply Hardware.
The RAB’s estimates are based on a pool of more than 100 markets as reported by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co.