Radio ad sales looking good

And that's great news in light of the latest StatsCan report that Canadians are spending less time listening.

In Q3 of 2006, national radio sales continued to climb by 6.1%, with forward bookings for Q4 of the broadcast year, which were 9.9% ahead last year’s strong Q4, according to Toronto-based Canadian Broadcast Sales.

‘Ontario remains the strongest region nationally, led by a very hot Toronto market,’ said CBS president Patrick Grierson. ‘Business for radio has been strong for some time now, and we don’t see that changing in the short term.’

The top five demos in Q3 were: Adults 25-54 (43.6%); Adults 18-49 (13%); Women 25-54 (11.5%); Adults 18-34 (3.3%); and Men 25-54 (2.9%). A decline in total Adult 25-54 spending was more than made up for by strong gains in the Women 25-54 group. CBS says this shift to a female-focused demographic continues a recent trend, but maintains the dominance of the 25-54 demo.

The top five categories by spending accounted for over 56% of national advertising spending on CBS-represented stations: Retail $6 million (14.5% share); Automotive $5.3 million (13%); Telecommunications $4.5 million (11%); Government $3.7 million (9.1%); and Financial services and insurance $3.6 million (8.7%).

The top five major categories by growth on CBS-represented stations were: Business (122%); Health care (88%); Telecommunications (79%); Travel and Transportation (54%); and Restaurants (45%).

‘In the near term,’ says Grierson, ‘radio will continue to enjoy the positive momentum of the past several years. The early revenue pacing for the first quarter of 2008 is up 11.6%, which bodes well for another good year.’

He added that ‘There are a number of interesting industry issues we are watching. People meters are currently being tested in Montreal, with the first results expected next year; Google radio sales in the US; and the impact of the strong Canadian dollar on marketers who repatriate profits to the US all have the potential to affect radio in varying ways.’