Following two years of negative growth, national spot radio is finally turning the corner with first quarter pacing up 19 percent.
According to a report from Stu Olds, CEO of Katz Media, the recovery is widespread and broad-based. The auto category, up 35.6 percent in the quarter, is one of seven categories contributing to a tightening marketplace.
National spot radio was down 22 percent year-to-date in third quarter, per the Radio Advertising Bureau, making for easy comparisons. Still, the news, which turned positive in December with a 19 percent gain, is a welcome sign that national advertisers are returning to radio.
"This broad-based category lift translates into strong pacing in every market segment and in every region of the country. In fact, all top-25 markets are pacing ahead of last year, with 78 of the top 100 ahead of lat year's first quarter," Olds wrote in his report.
In addition to auto, retail is up 7.6 percent, finance up 8.7 percent, entertainment up 36.4 percent, telecom up 22.5 percent, consumer products up 34.9 percent and professional services up 21.5 percent.
Top advertisers in the quarter include General Motors, Honda, Mercedes, Chrysler, Ford, Verizon, AT&T, Geico, State Farm, JPMorgan/Chase, American Express, Wal-Mart, Safeway, and Target.