Report: Network Radio Is Thriving
April 1, 2008 at 5:15 AM (PT)
Network radio is undergoing a renaissance. At a time when the economy is squeezing local advertisers and local media, the medium -- with its attractive efficiencies, targeted reach and greater accountability -- is thriving, reports MEDIAWEEK.
Up 4% in 2007 to $1.2 billion, the health of network radio stands in stark contrast to the rest of the on-air radio business, which declined 3% to $18.5 billion. Net radio is nearly sold out through MAY, buoyed by retail, financial services, telecommunications and cable and TV tune-ins. "It is a sort of hot new medium," said HORIZON MEDIA Dir./National Radio MAJA MIJATOVIC.
For such national advertisers as HOME DEPOT, SEARS, WAL-MART and other retailers consolidating local brands into national ones, network radio's economics make a lot of sense. "There are a lot of big-box retailers who have decided to use the efficiencies of the medium and make it part of their mix. When you start aggregating (in spot), there is a point of diminishing returns," said INITIATIVE VP/Dir. Of Radio JAMIE BARTHOLOMEW.
Mergers in such key industries as retail and banking aren't the only reason the medium is bucking the generally downward trend in radio. During the past few years, such players as ABC RADIO NETWORKS, PREMIERE RADIO NETWORKS, DIAL-GLOBAL and WESTWOOD ONE have worked to make the medium more flexible, offering copy splits down to the station level with quicker turnaround and as fast as four days for many networks.