Local Radio sales climbed 1% in the first month of 2001, giving Radio a nice kick-off in the current soft advertising economy. Up against the phenomenal growth of January 2000, when local ad totals soared 18% and national dollars jumped 25%, national sales for January 2001 were down 15% and combined local and national ad revenues dropped 3%. These monthly totals are based on the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) Radio revenue index of more than 100 markets.
To place the intermediate and long-term growth of the Radio industry into better perspective, RAB is introducing an index that equates base year 1998 to 100. The index will work similar to the Gross Pricing Index (GPI) so that the information can be tracked on a month in, month out basis.
For January 2001 the local Radio sales index is 134.5. The national index for the same month is 125.2 and combined, the local and national sales index is 132.1.
The impressive sales showing by the Radio industry in 2000 was achieved despite the month of December, in which local revenues were off 2% and national dollars were down 7%. When added together, December's local and national sales decreased 3% when compared to an exceptional December of 1999 when sales climbed 20%.
"Accelerated pacing at the end of January in the local sector helped drive the increase," noted President & CEO of RAB Gary Fries. "This performance, up against the extraordinary growth of January 2000 and in a soft advertising economy, when looked back upon will be a strong achievement for the Radio industry when compared to other economic indicators."
The accounting firms of Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. and Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols and Carter provide the local and national revenue data on the more than 100 markets RAB uses to calculate its revenue index.