released financial figures for 4Q 2017 and for the full year of 2017.
While revenue at the division that houses its 850 radio stations increased $2.7 million, or 0.3%, to $941.88 million, compared to the same period one year earlier. Expenses during 4Q increase even more. Expenses were up $74.8 million, or 13.3%. Increased expenses are due mainly because of higher trade and barter due to the timing of the big music festival which was held in September 2017 and broadcast in November 2017. However, programming expenses also increased.
Fourth quarter 2017 marks a 19th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth for iHeart’s radio division. iHM reports full-year 2017 billings grew $39.9 million, or 1.2%, to $3.44 billion.
The company said growth in national and other revenue at the radio division in Q4 was partially offset by lower local revenue.
An increase in national trade and barter, mainly from its tent pole iHeartMedia Music Festival in November, drove the national revenue gains.
However, increased programmatic buying from national sales initiatives and investments was also a contributing factor. Those gains were partially offset by a decrease in national Total Traffic and weather revenue. Local revenue was down due to lower spot and political revenue, partially offset by an increase in local trade and barter.