Borrell: Radio Has Finally Discovered The Internet


Borrell and Associates has released its mid-year advertising forecast update. And, with some actual numbers in the books for 2019, the research firm says radio is looking a lot stronger when it comes to digital revenue. And that’s a good thing because spot revenue isn’t looking so good.

When the year started, Borrell projected radio would increase its digital revenue about 18% in 2019. They’ve increased that projection to 22% thanks to healthy increases from Beasley, Townsquare, Cox and a few other companies. Radio’s overall digital revenue is closing in on $1 billion with most companies now reporting how much of their overall revenue is coming from that category. And most are reporting that revenue is now in the high single digits. Borrell is also projecting a 27% increase in digital revenue for radio in 2021, to $1.2 billion.

It’s hard to really know if those digital dollars radio is reporting are coming from the over-the-air radio side, however Borrell does not paint a rosy picture in his projections for radio’s traditional advertising take. The Borrell report says due to social media and alternative listening options, such as streaming and connected cars, traditional revenue for radio will be down 2.7% this year and 7% next year.

Radio will have the highest digital advertising growth rates in 2019 (22%) and 2020 (27%) among all traditional media, if the Borrell numbers pan out.

The Borrell report is based on the total “addressable digital advertising,” which is the total amount of digital expenditures for all local businesses located in a market that can be captured by local media companies.



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