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Report: Health & Beauty Fastest Growing Radio Ad Category.

Health and beauty and travel and leisure were radio’s fastest growing ad categories in 2017, while beverages and automotive were among the biggest declines, according to a  new spending report  from ad sales services provider Matrix Solutions.

The company, which provides customer relationship management tools to 10,000 media sellers, manages just under $1 billion in radio revenue and $12.5 billion in total media ad revenue. While the spending numbers in its first ever ad spend report solely reflect its customer base, the company says they pinpoint wider industry trends because its sample size maintains statistical significance and has market penetration.

Health and beauty advertisers that use the Matrix sales platform increased their radio budgets by 26.1% to $38 million while travel and leisure upped their radio spend by 24.3% to $16.4 million. Other top gainers for radio include general services, up 15.1% to $121.3 million and home improvement, which grew 3.9% to $75.4 million.

 
 

Among top categories tracked by Matrix, beverage makers pulled back the most from radio, down 33.8% to $15.2 million. Automotive, which several radio CEOs have said was softer in 2017, registered an 8.4% decline to $86.1 million while auto-related spenders pulled back 13% to $74.2 million.

Looking across all media and excluding political dollars, 2017 ad spend was nearly flat with less than a 2% decrease from 2016. Breaking down the numbers by platform, TV broadcast ad spend decreased 2.9%, digital increased 10.1% and radio decreased 1.2%.

Digital makes up only 4% of ad dollars that flow through the Matrix system, radio is 9.4% and broadcast TV represents the majority at 86.6%.

 
 

According to the report, political ads made up more than 12% of media ad spend in 2016, totaling more than $1.5 billion but fell to $220 million in 2017.

Local advertising is becoming more important than ever, the report concludes. Local add dollars dipped 1% in 2017 compared to 4.2% for national, excluding political.

“According to our data, overall ad spend remained relatively flat from 2016 to 2017, which means the stakes are higher than ever for media organizations looking to improve their bottom line,” said Mark Gorman, CEO at Matrix Solutions. “Understanding where brands are investing provides media ad sales teams with a leg up in bringing in revenue more efficiently.”

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