Radio Struggles as Advertisers Tune Out

Despite a slight growth in audience, homogenized radio is losing ad dollars
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Nov 26, 2008 9:35 AM CST
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio products are advertised side by side on the exterior windows in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
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(Newser) – More listeners hasn’t translated into more cash for radio broadcasters struggling to keep advertising revenues up, reports the New York Times, as prime clients like auto dealers and retailers cut ad buys in their own battle to stay afloat. Radio advertising continued its 18-month nosedive, declining 10% in October from the previous year.

Despite a growth in audience numbers—235 million listeners per week to last year's 232 million—the amount of time they spend listening has dropped. And advertisers are having a tough time finding differentiation in an industry that tends to "blunt the edges of the formats, so that each of the stations could play across more demographic groups," said one ad agency VP. “The stations aren’t as relevant to people as they were." Only newspapers had a worse second quarter.