The Radio industry will continue to grow in ad revenue between 7.5 and 8% in 2001, predicted Gary Fries, President & CEO of the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB).
Fries made his forecast based on a healthy gain in line with the continuing growth Radio has experienced over the past few years. Radio generated huge double-digit increases in 2000, particularly in the first two quarters. According to Fries, "While we will see a leveling off to a more realistic figure in the first half of 2001, the trend in revenue gains will continue on an upswing. The year 2000 will wind up 13% ahead of 1999," he noted. "2001 will start off a bit slow when compared to the tremendous gains of first quarter 2000, but will pick up momentum as the year unfolds and sustain the upward trend.
"While 2000 was largely consumed with major consolidation issues, 2001 will be the first full year where the new organization of ownership will truly take effect," he said. "Now we will see the operators who elected to remain independent stepping up their marketing effort to increase their position in the marketplace, resulting in new initiatives to increase revenue streams in the local market arena.
"Nationwide, Radio is 80% a local business with revenue sources that defy national trends," he added. "People who are trying to analyze Radio as a traditional national medium will be surprised at the end of the year when they see Radio's overall strength. When one looks at growth over the past two years this has and will continue to be a tremendous growth cycle for the Radio industry.
"When you look at Radio's revenue, even during an advertising environment slowdown, Radio traditionally has delivered strong revenue months, and all indications are that it will continue to do so," Fries explained. Some national advertisers are employing a "wait and see" approach before implementing advertising plans, but according to Fries, all indications are that Radio will continue to be a major part of their strategy. "In 2000, our revenue was supported by all categories of business, and they continue to be sound and performing well in their outlook for Radio in 2001," he stated.
The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) is the sales and marketing arm of the Radio industry with more than 5000 member stations in the U.S. and over 900 additional members in networks, representative firms, sales and international organizations