That’s according to a newly released report from the RAB and Borrell and Associates. It’s the 11th year the two organizations have been collaborating on the report. In 2022, according to the report, radio stations generated $1.8 billion in digital sales, up 21.1% over 2021.
The $1.8 Billion accounted for nearly one in five advertising dollars, with a fast-growing portion of it coming from the sale of streaming video advertising. The report concludes that half of the industry’s top-line growth is expected to come from digital sales in 2023 and more local ad revenue coming from video streaming than audio streaming spots.
“Digital continues to be the catalyst for growth in today’s environment. A solid foundation in digital is a key driver for today’s successful marketing professional,” said Erica Farber, RAB president and CEO. “As technology evolves, revenue and sales gains can only be obtained via digital services and training know-how. RAB continues to provide the training, tools and services needed to realize these gains.”
“It’s remarkable that the industry has grown digital revenue 80% in the past three years,” said Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates. “If it hits $2 billion, as we’re forecasting, I think it marks the start of a new era where radio remains a solid core, but digital products become the industry’s most important growth engine.”
The annual report showed that digital sales in 2022 comprised 19% of total ad revenue, representing between $85,064 for the average small-market station and $1.2 million for a station in a large market. Some market clusters were making tens of millions of dollars from digital ad sales, the report states.
The report was a result of data from 3,753 radio stations, 851 local radio buyers and 169 radio managers.
Additional findings include:
In 2022, digital revenue for eight publicly held radio companies averaged 13.3% of total ad revenue but represented 48.6% of top-line revenue growth.
Banner ads still account for the largest amount of revenue for most stations, but revenue from streaming-video products is developing rapidly. Eighty-one percent of stations were selling streaming video in 2022.
The full report is available to RAB members on RAB.com: Click here.
A live webinar featuring the survey results presented by RAB and Gordon Borrell is available for free to RAB members and survey participants. The live presentation takes place at noon CT on Wednesday, February 22. To register for the live presentation, click here.