Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Survey: Digital Sales Poised To Surge During 2017

Radio stations' digital revenues are poised to surge 22% this year, growing to a record $753 million, according to research released jointly by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and advertising research firm Borrell Associates.

The report shows that last year the average radio station generated between $49,159 and $602,783 in digital advertising sales, depending on market size. It also showed that among the more than 800 clusters, the average market cluster surveyed broke the million-dollar mark in digital sales for the first time, reaching $1.1 million.

Among other findings, in 2016:
  • Digital ad sales growth averaged 12% for radio stations.
  • Small markets saw far higher growth rates for digital sales-between 36% and 83%.
  • 2.5% of market clusters made more than $5 million in digital sales.
  • Stations are becoming less dependent on banner ads, selling other forms of digital advertising.
  • The vast majority of radio advertisers believe that radio sales reps possess solid marketing and digital skills.
"We're seeing a lot more optimism from radio managers this year," said Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell. "Twice as many told us they're planning for growth of 20% to 50% in 2017, so there's obviously something in the air."

"We're starting to see great momentum with digital in both small and large markets. Stations that are evolving their offerings beyond their core broadcast business are seeing revenue benefits," added RAB President/CEO Erica Farber. "The results from this study provide us with insights of where efforts are paying off and what additional training is needed to continue the trend," added Farber. "The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members."

This is the fifth year that Borrell has produced the benchmarking report for RAB. The report utilizes Borrell's database that tracks digital revenue for 10,597 local online operations in the U.S. and Canada, including 3,210 radio stations. It also provides insights from a recent survey Borrell conducted of 2,667 radio advertisers, as well as a 14-question survey of 194 U.S. radio station managers.

The full report is available to RAB members on Click here.  A live webinar featuring the survey results presented by the RAB and Gordon Borrell is available for free to RAB members and survey participants.  To register for the February 14 or 16 webinar click here.

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