Current Issue:

Current Issue

On The Cover:
Cumulus Chairman Jeff Marcus

Click here to subscribe to Radio Ink.

Radio Ink Writers

Auto Revenue Back to 2008 Level


Automotive advertising has always been radio's bread and butter. Back in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crash and economic meltdown gripped the country, the Automotive category still made up nearly 30% of radio's overall advertising business (28%). The Radio Advertising Bureau reported on Friday that the category has inched its way back to 28%, a good sign for the industry, despite so much more competition than there was just 5 short years ago.

In 2009 Automotive dropped from 29% to 23%, a significant amount of advertising revenue lost that is not easily recovered in a recession. In 2010, the slow climb began as auto hit 24%. In 2011 it was 26% and in 2012, it returned to 29%. The only downside, perhaps, is that once again radio had 30% of its eggs in the auto basket and has proven it cannot replace that revenue when the economy goes south. Gains in digital, although the total dollars are small, are helping.