Resilient Radio in Canada


Barbara Schecter of the Financial Post relays the news that Canadian radio is thriving:

Despite an “old media” label, radio continues to command more advertising dollars each year, which should help the stock prices of publicly-traded radio broadcasters, says Carl Bayard, a media analyst at Genuity Capital Markets.

He has a “buy” recommendation on Canada’s two biggest radio operators Astral Media Inc. (ACM.b/TSX) and Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJR.b/TSX).

Now that is a solid recommendation for radio if I ever heard one!

“Every year, we wonder if this is the year where radio in Canada finally kicks the bucket and performs along the lines of its dreadful old-media brethren,” says Mr. Bayard in a recent note to clients.

“And every year, we are surprised by radio’s resilience in the face of ever-increasing competition from alternative sources for information [and] entertainment.”

Old does not mean out of date. Despite the ongoing campaign amongst segments of the media to brand radio as an outdated technology, there has yet to be anything that can truly take its place. Despite advances everywhere, radio still reaches more people with less effort than any other medium currently in use.

In fiscal 2007, which ended in August, the radio industry posted growth of 3.9%, according to figures published by the Radio Marketing Bureau. While this growth was restrained in comparison to a 6.5% increase a year earlier, the first four months of fiscal 2008 have so far produced growth of 5.6%, says Mr. Bayard.

Looks like radio will be the dark horse of 2008!

Photo courtesy of Rick Harris


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