MAGNA: Radio Up For 3rd Consecutive Quarter


According to the advertising research firm, radio ad sales were up just under 1% in Q2, mostly thanks to network radio, which was up 6%. Local continues to be a problem for radio.

MAGNA’s latest research states that radio has finally stabilized after 20 consecutive quarters in the red (between 2013 and mid-2018) as “iHeartMedia and Cumulus emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organization.”

MAGNA is also reporting that overall digital ad sales jumped 12% in the quarter to $1.5 billion and +2.4% for the first half of the year to $7.8 billion, after stagnating in both 2017 and 2018. Digital Media was again the big winner, up 19% in the first half of the year with search up 16% and social media up 31%.

Overall the U.S. ad market grew by 8% in the first half of 2019 to $107 billion. As a result MAGNA has increased its full year forecast from plus 5.1% to plus 6.3%.

MAGNA is projecting yet another record year in political advertising in 2020. The research firm says almost $6 billion will be spent next year which would make 2020 the 11th consecutive year of political ad spend growth.


  1. “Local continues to be a problem for radio”. I would sure love to hear details s as to what are the contributing factors to this statement. As a small market broadcaster I am finding sales, which are 99% local, to be down the past two consecutive years. In my case, it is a stagnant local economy.

    • There’s nothing wrong with the economy. It is strong.
      In local radio’s case, much as it is for local newspaper, local TV, all “local” advertising-there are far fewer locally-owned stores who, for years, made up the list of top advertisers on local media.
      Many of these local store owners are baby-boomers who are retiring and the businesses they owned simply closed or sold off to corporate or a non-retail replacement.
      New advertiser categories have come into play, however, but it’s up the the stations to recognize this and shift gears to different opportunities. There are also ways to tap into revenue from the general public.
      All business evolves over time. It’s supposed to.


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