Where are digital marketing and advertising clients spending their money? That’s among the reveals amid new information from a Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and Borrell Associates collaborative study, “Benchmarking Local Radio Stations Online Revenues,” which provides insight into digital revenue for radio.
As previously reported by Inside Radio, radio stations grew their digital dollars by 13.4% to $700 million in 2017. Now, in addition to providing an overall look at digital revenue for radio, the RAB/Borrell study shows that 73% of radio advertisers are buying social media advertising, spending an average of $16,043 a year — or one-third of what they are spending on radio advertising.
The three most important marketing goals for radio advertisers are: acquiring more business, maintaining current business and building brand reputation. According to the study, social media advertising ranks first in meeting these marketing goals.
Borrell says that while the main sources of revenue vary from station to station, banner ads and streaming audio ads continue to be consistent purchases by advertisers, although there seems to be more money going toward audio.
“One big change we’ve noticed is a jump in the percentage of digital revenue coming from streaming audio commercials,” a post on the RAB site says. Borrell notes with the decline in dependence for banner ads, audio spots were the largest single source of digital revenue in 2017 for 27% of the stations participating in the study.
One-third of station manager survey respondents said that some “other” type of digital product not listed as an option was their number one source of revenue. Of those that responded with “other,” they noted mobile programming, social media, streaming video commercials or paid search as their largest source of digital revenue.
“Radio is able to offer complete integrated over-the-air and digital packages for clients that include all these touchpoints to deliver our listeners to clients, and in turn provide measurable ROI for our advertisers,” the RAB post concluded.
The report includes data from a survey of 126 radio managers representing more than 1,000 stations. Conducted from December 2017 to January 2018, the radio managers were asked about digital revenue sources, strategy, sales methods and other issues related to digital operations. Of the respondents, 10% were owners, 28% were GMs, 43% were sales managers, 4% were sales reps, 4% were directors of digital operations and 11% held other titles.
The report also incorporates data from a Borrell survey of 1,351 local radio advertisers, culled from a larger survey of 3,511 local businesses, using a crosstab of those who said they currently buy radio. This survey was conducted from April through July 2017. Ad revenue from 3,085 local radio stations in Borrell’s database is also factored into the results.