Radio Advertising Spending is Growing – Radio Delivers Results

  • I thought this blog post might be interesting to members of this group, detailing as it does, the kinds of advertisers who are spending and increasing budgets. I'm actually giving a preview before it goes live at RadioActive Media.

    Radio delivers its best results in quarter-to-quarter revenue comparisons since Q1 2007 with a +6% overall increase to $3.687B. In fact, this gain represents the highest posted in nearly a decade (3rd-Quarter 2000, +8),” according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.

    What do all these major advertisers realize? Radio is a tremendous value due to its unique ability to target all segments of the population.

    Let’s look at the significant categories and their growth along with the advertisers that know the value of radio advertising:

    Communications/Cellular/Public Utilities - increased 5.7% over a comparatively strong showing in Q1 ’09.

    Besides the biggies such as AT&T and Verizon the category saw increased spending from Leap Wireless, T-Mobile as well as new comers Palm Inc. ClearWire and Tracfone.

    Television/Networks/Cable Providers

    The category grew 23% overall, to $276.2M. Comcast Cable led the way followed by: ABC, NBC, USA, CBS, Charter, Cablevision, Telemundo, Cox Communications Cable, ESPN and HBO.


    McDonald’s remains Radio’s third-largest advertiser for this quarter. Wendy’s spending represented an increase of 18%. Other major players are: Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread Co., TGI and Arby’s.

    Auto Dealers/Dealer Groups/Manufacturers/Rentals

    Financial Services

    Financial Services moves into Local and National Spot Radio’s Top 5 this quarter with expenditures of $191.6M – up by nearly 50% from last year’s Q1. JPMorgan Chase led the way followed by PNC Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Capital One, Fifth Third Bank and Bank of the West. American Express charged into the #2 position in this category with a $20.5M commitment (versus just $24.9K last year). Within the Network sector, JPMorgan Chase was also the spending leader with $2M in activity compared to none in Q1 2009. American Express also increased their Q1 2010 spending by more than 300% to nearly $2M.

    Grocery/Convenience/Liquor Stores

    An impressive 27% increase in spending with category leaders such as Safeway with an increase of 63% over Q1 2009. Kroger Food Stores, Supervalu and relative U.S. newcomer Fresh &

    Easy Neighborhood Market, Trader Joe’s and A&P Supermarkets. Also rapidly increasing: Radio spending by the fast-expanding Aldi Food Store chain.

    Insurance Companiesmso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica-Bold;mso-bidi-font-weight:bold"">

    Major additions in radio spending came from State Farm Insurance, Progressive and Safe Auto. Other advertisers who added sizable increments to their Radio spending were Esurance and Titan Auto Insurance.

    Retail – Including Home Improvement, Department Stores, Discount Stores & Shopping Centers

    Radio’s revenue from Home Improvement advertisers grew 18% over Q1 ’09, with added spending by all four major players: Home Depot, Orchard Supply Hardware Lowe’s Companies and Menard’s Building Supply.

    Other categories/advertisers with increased spending are:

    Specialty Retail – Old Navy, Gap and ProFlowers and 1-800-Flowers

    Concerts/Theaters/Movies – Paramount and Universal

    Beverages- font-family:"Helvetica","sans-serif""">Coca-Cola Co., Kraft, Pepsi Dr. Pepper Seven Up, Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors12.0pt;font-family:Helvetica-Bold;mso-bidi-font-family:Helvetica-Bold"">


    Issue advertising comprised 25% of first quarter’s political spending fueled by the healthcare debate. The recent Supreme Court ruling invalidating corporate campaign funding limitations should impact political throughout 2010. With 57% of all political dollars spent on candidate support ($7M) in special elections and preliminary name recognition building in Q1, Radio is certain to be a frontrunner come the primary and general election season. (See earlier post: Plan Early for the Political Ad Campaign Season – Rates are Up and Inventory is Down)

    What do all these major advertisers realize? Radio is a tremendous value due to its unique ability to target all segments of the population.

    At RadioActive Media, we take radio advertising to the next level with text messaging campaigns, radio personalities and 24/7 tracking of results.



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