Tuesday, March 28, 2017

News WTOP Was Top Billing Radio Station During 2016

The digital ad income for U.S. radio stations continued its ascent in 2016, as the industry reported a 14 percent boost in online revenues, compared with only a slight bump in over-the-air income, according the Q1 edition of BIA/Kelsey's 2017 Investing In Radio Market Report.

All News WTOP-FM Washington, DC, was the top revenue-generation station during 2016, taking in $67.5 million in ad revenues as the overall industry over-the-air ad revenue stayed relatively flat at around $14.1 billion.

"In an age where consumers have many entertainment choices, local radio maintains its strength and popularity in the marketplace among national and local advertisers," said BIA/Kelsey Senior VP/Chief Economist Mark Fratrik. "Our forecast also notes that by 2021 we expect radio to surpass newspapers and become the fifth largest media category among advertisers."

Fratrik added that the prospects for 2017 remain similar, with OTA revenues increasing less than one percent and online about 12 percent. BIA/Kelsey forecasts that the radio industry's revenue in 2017 will reach a total of $14.9 billion, representing 10.5 percent of the $148.8 billion U.S. local advertising marketplace as estimated by BIA/Kelsey.

Mark Fratrik
More promising this year over last are radio transactions and station sales. With the February announcement that Entercom and CBS Radio will be combined into one company, after regulatory approval, the industry will experience renewed activity due to the sale and realignment in some markets. In 2016 the market was slow, with 556 station sales and nearly $500 million in transactions across the industry.

"We are encouraged by the Entercom purchase and how it will affect the competitive landscape," added Fratrik. "The combined group will be closer to the size of industry leader iHeart Media and we expect the transaction to have a positive effect on radio since both organizations are progressive and well-run."

All 10 stations on BIA’s 2016 list are identical to the 10 stations that topped the list in 2015. CBS’ (soon to be Entercom’s) WCBS in New York dropped two positions, taking in $1 million less in 2016 than it did in 2015. Also, CBS-owned WFAN and WINS in New York both took in $500,000 less in 2016. WHTZ (iheartMedia) in New York took in $800,000 less in 2016 than 2015. All other stations in the top 10 increased their revenue in 2016.

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