Study Shows Broadcast Radio Continues Focus on Digital Opportunities

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Digital Revenue Grew 13.4% in 2017, Forecast for 2018 Even Higher

New York, NY – February 7, 2018 -- Radio stations rapidly expanded their digital offerings in 2017 to complement and help drive their over-the-air advertising packages, driving digital revenue 13.4% higher last year, according to research released today by the Radio Advertising Bureau and ad-tracking firm Borrell Associates Inc.

The report shows that 85% of radio advertisers are also buying some form of digital advertising, and that three-quarters of them are buying digital and radio together. Moreover, the report shows that digital ad revenue now accounts for 7.5% of the average station’s ad revenues, up from 6.3% last year.

The findings are a part of the 6th annual RAB-Borrell report,  “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues,” being released today. The report analyzes online ad revenue from more than 10,000 radio stations, as well as survey responses from more than 1,300 local businesses that buy radio advertising.

Among the findings:
•    Digital revenue grew 13.4% in 2017, to a total of $700 million. The forecast for 2018 is even higher.
•    Over the past two years, the number of stations selling high-demand digital services such as SEO, website development, and social media management has doubled.
•    Radio advertisers’ top marketing goal is to acquire new business, and they rank Social Media and Radio as the Top 2 methods to achieve those goals.
•    Stations’ confidence in their digital strategy is improving.

“Digital has been integrated into all facets of broadcast radio’s offering both in programming and sales, and the results are definitely paying off,” stated Erica Farber, President and CEO, RAB.  “As radio continues to provide integrated marketing solutions to its advertisers we expect to see continued growth,” added Farber. “The RAB is focused on providing digital training and continued knowledge building for our members so they can better serve their clients.”

“Radio is definitely embracing digital as an opportunity to serve customers better, more so than in previous years,” said Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates. “Stations are clearly offering a level of marketing expertise to their customers that makes the digital buy ‘safe’ and certainly stronger when combined with radio spots.”

The full report is available to RAB members on RAB.com: Click here.  A live webinar featuring the survey results presented by the RAB and Gordon Borrell is available free to RAB members and survey participants.  To register for the February 13th or 15th webinar click here.  

Press Inquiries: To receive an executive summary, please send an email to press@rab.com.

About the Radio Advertising Bureau
The Radio Advertising Bureau is the not-for-profit trade association representing America's broadcast radio industry. Its primary objective is to drive revenue growth through advocacy, providing the tools and resources to help the industry attract new sales talent to the medium and enhance industry professionalism through training and support. The RAB serves more than 6,000 member stations in the U.S. and more than 1,000 member networks, representative firms, broadcast vendors, and international organizations. Learn more at www.rab.com.

About Borrell Associates

Borrell Associates tracks and analyzes trends in local advertising. Hundreds of media properties license Borrell’s data via its Compass product, seen at www.adspending.com. Borrell’s Compass offers comprehensive data on advertising and marketing expenditures and forecasts for any U.S. or Canadian market, including estimates for 100 business categories within each market and expenditures on all types of advertising, marketing and promotions expenditures, including spending on digital services such as SEO, social management, web hosting, etc.  The firm publishes regular reports on trends in local advertising and each spring holds the Local Online Advertising Conference in New York City, the largest gathering of local digital media executives in the country. The company was established in 2001 and is based in Williamsburg, Va.  More information can be found at www.borrellassociates.com or by calling 1-757-221-6641.

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