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Radio Q2 Revenue Sputters


You can't help but notice that while Television, Pandora and Sirius XM gleefully report spectacular quarterly revenue numbers, Radio continues to report meager gains. The Radio Advertising Bureau released its 2nd quarter numbers yesterday that show radio gaining only 1% for the quarter, compared to 2011. And, if it wasn't for the strong automotive sector, which is helping everyone grow, the report may have been worse. The RAB has also stopped providing specific dollar amounts for advertisers and sectors, now only reports percentages.

Keep in mind the report does not include local, where many of you that we speak to say you are having a strong year, and it does not include network radio data. Miller Kaplan says "there must be a voluntary cooperative representing a minimum of 90% of total market revenue" in order to provide the network data. Miller Kaplan did not reach that threshold.

The RAB reports total revenue for Q2 at $4.36 Billion an increase of 1% over Q2 in 2011. That total incudes spot revenue, digital revenue and off-air revenue. For the first half of 2012, the RAB reports revenue of $7.9 Billion, again an increase of 1% over 2011. The RAB says health care spending was up 23% for the quarter, automotive spending was up 17%, Home furnishings were up 10%, Insurance was up 10%and Concerts/Theaters/Movies up 9%. The report does not mention the categories that dropped off.

Digital accounted for $191 million in revenue for the quarter, according to the RAB, an increase of 3% over last year. Within the Miller Kaplan reporting markets, political advertising accounted for $15.2 Million for the quarter and $22.5 Million for the year.

As to why the RAB did not report specific dollar figures, for advertisers and sectors, in it's most current report: "Radio stations/markets reporting revenue to Miller Kaplan may vary slightly for each accounting period, resulting in adjustments to dollar figures for comparison purposes (% Change). To eliminate confusion that has occurred with users of the report attempting to make direct comparisons of published dollar amounts, only percentage change based on the adjusted figures will be reported effective with the Q2 release. RAB will continue to publish bottom line dollar figures, as we believe that the performance of total industry growth is the best measure of Radio revenue trends."

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