Q3 national radio sales fall

There was a 13.9% decline according to the latest tally from Canadian Broadcast Sales, and an 82% shortfall from four major categories. But there are some bright spots. Read on.

The company that represents over 60% of all private Canadian radio revenues is out with its Q3 report this morning. Canadian Broadcast Sales (CBS) reports that national radio sales fell 13.9%, with 82% of that shortfall the combined result of a decline in government (down 54%), alcoholic beverages (down 32.5%), financial services (down 25%) and telecommunications (down 20%). It also reports that 27% of the total downturn over the last year is the result of the Government of Canada spend falling by 61%.

The hardest hit province was Ontario, which absorbed 41% of the total revenue shortfall, and accounts for 33% of total radio dollars. Second worst hit was British Columbia which reported a 26% drop in revenue and a 17.45% share of dollars. For its part, despite a 15.5% loss over last year, Alberta maintained its 21% share of revenue.

But there is a bright side to the report, according to CBS president, Patrick Grierson who says the economy is showing positive signs, citing an increased national retail revenue share – 18.6% from 15.8%, and also seeing growth on the automotive radio ad spend front from 13.4% to 15.5%. ‘Anyone in the media business looking for ‘green shoots’ found mostly weeds,’ he says in a recent release of the Q3 report, and says he believes radio is ‘well positioned as consumer confidence builds and advertising spending resumes. Radio was late to enter the economic slowdown and we didn’t really feel the impact until the beginning of this calendar year. It would be accurate to say we’re not yet overly optimistic about Q4 and early next year, but we get the sense that advertisers and agencies are beginning to feel that the worst is behind them,’ says Grierson.

The company, which represents Corus Entertainment, Rogers Media Broadcasting, Haliburton Broadcasting and Jim Pattison Broadcast Group among others, reports that the most requested demo was the 25 to 54 bunch which, when combined with derivative demos, accounts for over 80% of total radio spending.