Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Dickey: Cumulus Evolving Beyond Local Spot Radio

CEO Lew Dickey on Tuesday's earnings conference call with analysts stated Cumulus has evolved its revenue strategy over the past 2.5 years since we closed on our Citadel acquisition, beyond the traditional local spot radio.

Lew Dickey
"We've now become a very diverse national audio advertising and content platform. Our base is fueled by our strong core broadcast advertising category, anchored by our 460 owned-and-operated stations and again, amplified by now more than 10,000 broadcast radio affiliates throughout the U.S."

Moreover, Dickey said Cumulus is developing "an emerging growth stream in digital advertising that is gaining real traction".  Adding that Licensing also provides the company with a significant second stream of non-advertising-based revenue and should continue to grow nicely as it develops NASH and other original content into multimedia brands with multiple revenue streams.

According to Dickey, Cumulus content initiatives will provide the company with new revenue streams originating from monetizing the consumer, as opposed to just the advertiser, through subscription services.

He also outlined key highlights:
  • "We are well on our way to successfully rebranding the majority of our owned-and-operated NASH platform as NASH FM. By the end of this year, we expect over 50 fully branded NASH FM affiliates and will begin offering full affiliations to non-owned stations starting in January of 2015."
  • The NASH long-form syndicated radio shows are also gaining traction across the country with significant ratings improvements in key markets, particularly the NASH evening show with Shawn Parr.
  • Multi-platform asset approach is really developing nicely. "We're in active discussions to create our partner for extensions and video, digital and live events and expect to announce new developments -- key developments shortly."
  • The revenue model for NASH will consist of a platform sponsorship for broadcast, cable, digital, print and event, as well as content licensing fees, a B2C subscription package and then ticketing, as well as merchandising revenue. "We're focused on executing our plan around NASH and look forward to announcing a second content vertical sometime next year."
  • As an update on our 2013 growth initiatives, CBS Sports Radio, Right Now Traffic are -- both CBS Sports Radio and Right Now Traffic are hitting their strides as national content brands.

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