2023 Wiped Out Two Years Of Radio Revenue Growth


The phrase “economic headwinds” colored many financial discussions last year, but now we can see just to what extent those headwinds blew radio’s post-pandemic recovery off course with BIA Advisory Services‘ list of top ten radio owners by revenue for 2023.

While the order of the top five stood unchanged, the year marked a stark overall regression as the total revenue of the highest earning groups fell 6.1% year-over-year and finished 4.7% lower than in 2021. Only two radio owners in the top ten showed year-over-year revenue growth, albeit less than 1%.

As America’s largest radio operator, iHeartMedia remained the leader, with $2.15 billion in revenue from 870 stations, although this represents a 5.5% drop from 2022. It also remains 2.8% lower than 2021. Audacy holds the second position, generating $1.3 billion from 227 stations – down 5.8% from 2022 and 3.9% from 2021.

Cumulus Media is again third among radio’s top owners by revenue for 2023, but fell to a revenue low even worse than in the heart of the pandemic. Cumulus finished with $413.9 million from 404 stations, marking a 16% decrease from 2022. In 2020, the group earned $470.1 million. Cox Media Group also completed the year at its lowest point since 2019, dropping one spot to seventh.

Hubbard Radio, in fourth place, sees significant earnings from WTOP – the United States’ highest billing station – which alone generated nearly 28% of Hubbard’s total revenue. It fell 4.7% compared to 2021.

Beasley Media Group, with revenues of $232.2 million from 58 stations, again rounds out the top five while dropping under 2021’s $241.2 million total revenue.

The bright spots came courtesy of Urban One and Alpha Media, who showed slight growth, bucking the downward trend. Urban One rose two spots to the sixth spot with a 0.5% increase, while Alpha Media entered the top ten with a 0.2% growth.

In the increasingly important Hispanic radio sector, TelevisaUnivision remains the top Spanish-language broadcaster.

BIA 2023 Top Owners


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here