Radio Industry Experiencing Negative Growth Trend, According to New BIA Report

by Jennifer McClure

By the end of 2008 the radio industry will have experienced its second year of negative growth by tripling station revenue losses to -7 percent, according to the estimates of BIA Advisory Services .

BIA’s fourth edition of the quarterly Investing In Radio® Market Report also reports that 641 stations have been sold in transactions valued at $698 million from January through October 2008, a -34 percent change from the same period in 2007 in the number of stations sold and a -44 percent in the value. When the year ends, this will be the lowest level since 1992.

BIA estimates radio station revenues will hit $16.7 billion in 2008, the lowest in more than five years and the beginning of a downward spiral that will go as low as $15 billion next year before possibly rebounding in the next decade. Investing In Radio® Market Report illustrates that revenue percentages will fall another 10 percent in 2009 yet will have a chance for positive growth by 2010.

Radio’s future relies heavily on its embrace of new media and mobile technologies and local advertisers. This was recently the subject of a panel led by Rick Ducey, BIA’s chief strategy officer, at the November “Interactive Local Media Conference,” organized by BIA’s The Kelsey Group.