The DR radio media billings market took a step back in 2017. Fourth-quarter results from Kantar Media show DR radio spending reaching $11,774,300, a 26.6-percent decrease compared to 4Q 2016, marking the outlet’s toughest fourth quarter in five years and rounding out a full year’s worth of down results.
Overall, 2017 DR radio spending reached $53,240,800 — a $16.7 million (or 23.9-percent) decrease compared to 2016. After three consecutive years of growth — including last year’s record-shattering total of $69.9 million — some slippage was bound to happen. The good news: 2017’s total spend closely mirrors that of 2014 — the first year of DR radio’s run of success, rather than the leaner years earlier in the decade.
9 Is Not Enough
Though nine of DR radio’s 17 categories reported increases in 4Q 2017, huge losses in “Automotive and Travel” and “Drug and Toiletry” wiped out any hope for overall success. Among the rising categories, only “Computers, Software, and Home Office” (up $395,900) and “Multiple Category Ad” (up $113,000) recorded increases of more than $100,000.
The “Automotive and Travel” category’s $1.9 million decrease was keyed by the disappearance of spending by WeatherTech.com. Meanwhile, “Drug and Toiletry” dropped nearly $2.4 million. Another category — “Household, Furniture, and Appliances” — dipped nearly $500,000, thanks mainly to a decrease in spending from radio’s top product: My Pillow.
Local Slippage Continues
While both network radio (down $1.2 million) and local radio (off $3.1 million) suffered in 4Q 2017, the local outlet’s losses remained the most noteworthy trend of 2017. A 35-percent decrease in fourth-quarter spending also led to the local outlet giving back more than six points of market share.
The number of unique DR radio campaigns slipped 22.3 percent to 115. Spending per campaign dropped to $102,385, a 5.6-percent decrease. The decrease was similar when considering only campaigns outside the top 10: down 5.9 percent to $37,117.
Spending among the top 10 campaigns fell 25.7 percent to $7,877,000. The loss meant that the top 10 campaigns accounted for 66.9 percent of overall 4Q 2017 spend, up from 66.1 percent the year prior. Five of the top 10 campaigns from fourth-quarter 2016 appeared in 4Q 2017, including top-ranked My Pillow. Dell was the highest-ranked newcomer, landing at No. 2 with more than $1.2 million in spending.