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International: Radio continues hot summer

17-August-2002
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International: Radio continues hot summer

Radio advertising sales continued a slow, steady growth pace during the month of June, according to the latest report from the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Combined local and national revenues increased 3% when compared to the same month a year ago. Local dollars grew 2%, while national sales registered a 7% gain. For the first six months of 2002, national revenues were up 5% and local numbers were flat. Together, local and national sales ran 1% ahead of the first half of last year. That number is exactly what the most recent Nielsen report showed for radio revenue growth for the first half of the year.

While the news is welcome for the radio business, national ad sales fell of its torrid pace of 11% for May. To put radio’s growth into perspective the RAB introduced a Sales Index that equates base year 1998 to 100. The Index works similar to the Consumer Price Index so that information can be monitored on a monthly basis. The local sales index for June was 134.4, compared to a national index of 118.1. The combined sales index for the month was 130.1. Through the first half of this year, the local index stood at 133.5, while the national index was 133.9 and the combined total was 133.6.

"Radio's strength as an advertising medium is reflected in the industry's steadily improving revenue figures, and bodes well for back-to-school sales and the upcoming holiday season," said Gary Fries, President and Chief Executive Officer of the RAB. "Looking forward, we see signs that Radio's growth will outperform the economy in general, resulting in a steady and strong recovery in 2002."

Last year the radio business dropped 7%. The national business was off 15%, so the recovery in that market is particularly dramatic.

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