Local digital radio ad spend increases, outpacing local digital growth in 2012
Digital radio occupies a small piece of the digital ad spending pie, but as internet radio takes off, more dollars will go to the format. According to an industrywide survey of more than 6,200 local online operations from Borrell Associates, US local radio digital ad spending grew 22% to reach $370.7 million in 2012. That is more than three times the pace of local radio digital ad growth in 2011, and slightly faster than total local digital advertising’s 21.4% growth in 2012.
The pace of increase helped expand digital radio advertising’s share of total local digital ad dollars by one-fifth of a percentage point, to 2% of the total.
According to the February report, the bulk of local digital ad dollars ($155.6 million) went to display run-of-site banner ads, beating out magazines for banner dollars. Unsurprisingly, radio was among the leaders for streaming audio spending, with $76 million put toward these ads.
This year, Borrell Associates expects growth in local radio digital ad spend to slow slightly, but still remain in the double digits, as total spending on local digital radio reaches $422.6 million. At that point, radio’s share will again decrease slightly to 1.7%, primarily due to an uptick in growth for local digital ad spending overall.
Erica Farber, president and CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau, told Borrell Associates, “Digital strategy among radio stations and groups is varied. Revenue opportunities continue to grow for those who are pushing the digital limits with online and mobile initiatives. As radio further defines and focuses on monetizing their digital platforms and applications, we will continue to see growth for radio in revenue and market share.”
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