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Farber Focuses On Digital, Streaming


Erica Farber has been the president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau for just over 18 months now, and Wednesday afternoon she told Radio Show attendees that radio continues to be a healthy industry, taking in $17.6 billion in ad revenue.

The top categories, according to Farber, are communications, financial, automotive, TV/networks/cable, and restaurants. She then advised attendees to keep an eye on President Obama's health care plan as the government tries to inform the public on how this will be implemented. "We have a great opportunity right now with consumer messaging regarding the Affordable Care Act, estimated to reach $1 billion by 2015 according to Kantar Media."

Then Farber turned her attention to digital.

Farber said, unlike some other media, radio has made an aggressive stand and taken advantage of technology to deliver content listeners want, in whatever format they want, and when they want it. Throughout the show there's been a lot of positive buzz about the Sprint phones with FM Chips (see next story) as well as TuneIn and iHeartradio. Farber says, "Advertisers recognize the importance of delivering their ad messages across all of radio's platforms, including radio's fastest-growing segment, digital.

"Reaching a high of $767 million in 2012, digital grew 13 percent to $401 million by the first half of this year -- that's over 80 percent higher than the first half of 2009."

Farber also announced that the RAB is launching a "streaming initiative committee" in the coming weeks. She says this committee will be "rolling up its sleeves and taking a deep-dive look into all aspects of streaming -- definitions, delivery, metrics, etc. And this will be important to radio's future, especially as eMarketer projects that music listening via streams or downloads on smartphones will be used by 33 percent of the population or nearly 108 million people in 2017."

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