I’m from the subtropics, a land where snow is something you see on television and if winter gets down to 20 degrees it almost stops the city. Canada, as you may imagine, is alien terrain for me. Even the summers are often what I would find to be utterly freezing. I know this for a fact because I’ve been there in June.
One thing that is not freezing in Canada is radio profits. According to an article in The Canadian Press:
Statistics Canada says advertising revenue among private radio broadcasters advanced six per cent to $1.5 billion in 2007.
That’s the third time in five years radio advertising growth has outpaced advertising market growth as a whole.
Of course stations in larger, predominantly metropolitan markets are raking in much greater shares of the profit than others. That is the advantage of a concentrated audience. What I found to be particularly interesting about the figures presented was the size that margin of difference achieved:
[…] radio stations operating in the five largest census metropolitan areas last year generated almost twice as much profit before interest and taxes per dollar of revenue as stations operating in smaller markets.
The article attributes the rise in profits to a combination of factors including the transition of numerous AM stations to the FM band, a portion of the spectrum acknowledged to be both more popular with the listening public and also more popular — probably as a result of the first factor. Another factor cited is the greater concentration of ownership that followed regulatory changes in 1998, something which has allowed more stability in the face of competition from new media.