Everyone is looking forward to the day when the economic crisis ends and we can once again loosen our belts. From an industry standpoint, an overall increased ad spend is the light at the end of the tunnel, something that might just be in the cards if the pattern seen by CBS Radio is any yardstick.
David Wilkerson at the Wall Street Journal reports:
CBS Radio sees revenue improvement in the third and fourth quarters of this year, led by a resurgence in automotive advertising, according to the division’s chief executive.
“We believe that the advertising climate is improving, and the numbers are pointing that way,” CBS Radio CEO Dan Mason said in an interview.
In the second quarter, revenue at CBS Inc.’s (CBS) radio division fell 23% to $322 million, an improvement compared with a 29% decrease in the first quarter.
“And we expect to do better in the third quarter, and then better in the fourth,” Mason predicted.
As he indicated in a May interview, Mason said there are fewer radio commercials available in the marketplace than the past and more demand for the spots that are for sale.
“Automotive has come back,” he said. “We benefited from cash-for-clunkers, and we expect to benefit even more in the next round.”
While not the finest news, it is still good to hear. A 6% decrease in the overall revenue decrease is a definite improvement, especially when you take into account the vast sums of money is represents. As we see more and more efforts like the cash-for-clunkers program, there will be commensurate efforts to place these deals before the buying public, something that can only benefit radio as a whole.
In addition to the auto ads, there is another factor at work here that Wilkerson also points out: The Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR). Mr. Mason sees the switch to CHR in the New York, LA, and Chicago markets as part of the upswing. Relying on stats generated by the embattled Arbitron Personal People Meter (PPM) they have seen an ongoing gain in listenership within their target audiences.
KAMP-FM in Los Angeles, referred to as Amp Radio, continues to gain more listeners among adults 18 to 34 years old, as well as the traditional target audience, people 25 to 54. Also improving are Now FM (WXRK-FM) in New York and B-96 (WBBM-FM) in Chicago.
Let us all hope that this is the beginning of an upswing across the board!