NEW YORK�A new report from Williamsburg, Va.-based Borrell Associates projects that the radio industry will meet or exceed the half-billion-dollar mark in digital advertising in 2015, according to the Radio Advertising Bureau.
�We�re making tremendous strides in radio's digital growth; and this survey continues to provide us with areas to focus on and invest in to truly maximize this revenue stream,� said RAB President and CEO Erica Farber.
The �Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations' Online Revenues� report shows that radio stations added or reassigned as many as 750 new employees to focus on digital ventures last year, causing revenues to grow 16% in 2014 according to Borrell Associates'. Radio sellers closed $494 million in digital advertising last year, up 16% from 2013 according to the report. For 2015, Borrell projects 18% growth, to $583 million. �
The third annual report is based on Borrell's ongoing survey of more than 10,000 local online operations in the U.S. and Canada, including 2,996 radio stations in over 700 market clusters. Data was analyzed from digital ad revenue as reported by the stations, digital ad spending by local business, and a survey of 211 radio personnel with questions about digital revenue resources, sales methods, expenses and other digital operations.
The report also offers insights into what radio managers are thinking with regard to their digital operations. For example, nearly two-thirds believe their sales reps are talking to the wrong buyers when trying to sell digital, and 77% gave sales training a No. 1 or No. 2 priority in terms of what would boost their station digital sales the most
More than one-third of the radio managers surveyed indicated that they had at least one employee exclusively assigned to digital operations, up from 11% from last year, and over 33% of those surveyed said their stations were either: setting up a digital agency, planning to do so soon or already had one, Borrell reported. Additionally, Radio managers are continuing to see great potential in the digital space and are focused on sales training to unlock it �96% indicate that their sales teams could use more digital sales training.
�The amount of digital staffers added in the past year, plus the continued strong belief by two-thirds of the managers that digital media holds �significant opportunity,� is very encouraging,� said Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell. ��
The full study is available to RAB members on RAB.com. A webinar featuring the study results, presented by the RAB and Gordon Borrell, is available on demand to RAB Members.