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Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan




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For Radio Digital Revenue Remains Elusive

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Eric Sass at Media Post writes that, despite the promise of big money, revenue is still "more theoretical than real." Many broadcasters who stream would agree, especially when they stack their cost to stream against the pennies in revenue they're taking in. Sass says, despite $561 million in digital revenue for radio (January - August), "2012 offered little in the way of digital cheer."

Sass points out that $561 million is only about 4.6 percent of total radio ad revenue. "This comes as spot advertising, the mainstay of the radio business, delivers flat growth." The Radio Advertising Bureau quarterly revenue press releases have been very pro-digital. RAB has been touting the growing digital revenue numbers in part to put lipsick on the radio's very flat spot revenue numbers. Everything is relative of course.

Sass also says radio lags "behind in attracting digital audiences." His only comparison was iHeartradio to Pandora. He writes, iHeartRadio has attracted around 20 million registered users, up from 10 million in May of this year. Over the same period, Pandora has grown from 150 million users to 175 million users."

What Sass doesn't account for or consider is traditional listeners who also listen to a specific station stream whether it's through a computer, an App, TuneIn, or the myriad other ways listeners can find their station. On that point, broadcasters might disagree with Sass. However, being that radio offers no real way to measure online listeners, there's no way to disprove his point.

Read the full Sass piece HERE






 
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