Report: Is The Ad Turnaround Here?
February 4, 2010 at 4:45 AM (PT)
The last time radio advertising posted quarterly revenue growth was in the first quarter of 2007 -- and AD AGE sums it up, writing the "three years that most recently saw CITADEL BROADCASTING, owner and operator of 224 stations, file for bankruptcy protection in DECEMBER and long-struggling AIR AMERICA shut down entirely in JANUARY make it hard not to dread the full-year figures for 2009, due out from the RADIO ADVERTISING BUREAU later this month, after the third quarter alone delivered a 21% plunge."
But is there light at the end of the tunnel? CLEAR CHANNEL Pres./Global Media Sales JOHN PARTILLA told the report that radio's turnaround may finally be here.
Big Categories Coming Back
CLEAR CHANNEL and KATZ MEDIA GROUP have seen a 19% increase in in Q1. The good news is historically big categories are coming back; finance is up 7.1%; entertainment, up 20.3%; automotive, up 27%; and telecommunications and wireless, up 19.7%. Retail was the only top five spending category to post a decrease in first-quarter bookings at that point, with a 7.2% decline.
AD AGE also reports "radio is also seeing ad dollars for the first time from marketers such as STARWOOD HOTELS' ALOFT brand, an upscale hotel chain with 39 locations, which turned to radio in DECEMBER to promote its year-end holiday party rooms and music-themed initiatives.
"We thought radio was an interesting vehicle for us to really test what the performance would be, and we knew we would be able to execute it pretty quickly," said STARWOOD SVP/Specialty Select Brands BRIAN MCGUINNESS. "ALOFT saw social interactivity at its ALOFTHOTELS.COM home-page increase by 67% after its radio spots started airing, Mr. MCGUINNESS said, as well as a significant lift in room reservations that could only be attributed to radio. Mr. MCGUINNESS said he expects to buy more radio this year."