Radio Loses Volume in 1Q 2017

Breaking a five-quarter winning streak, first-quarter 2017 DR radio media billings slipped $1.4 million compared to results from 1Q 2016. Dips in the local radio sector and the “Drug and Toiletry” and “Computers, Software, and Home Office” categories led to the 7.9-percent decrease, according to Kantar Media’s data.

However, followers of the DR radio space shouldn’t fret too much — the first-quarter 2017 total of $16,902,100 still represents the second biggest 1Q DR radio spend by marketers in the past 10 years. The total number of radio campaigns dropped by more than 20 percent (with network radio losing 26 percent of its total campaigns from the same timeframe one year ago), but increased per-campaign spending nearly made up for those decreases.

Five Alive

Just five of the 17 categories reported gains in 1Q 2017 — and only two of those gainers added more than $100,000 in spending compared with the year prior. The “Food and Beverage” category rose $522,300 (65.7 percent) thanks to expanded spending by Shari’s Berries and the debut of Blue Apron. “Apparel” added $108,400, nearly a 400-percent increase.

Among the losing categories, only “General” (down $172,400), “Computers, Software, and Home Office” (off $847,600), and “Drug and Toiletry” (down $1.1 million) lost more than $100,000 compared to the year prior.

Local Interference

Two of three DR radio outlets reported gains in the first quarter, but local radio’s losses were the story. After gaining more than $3 million in 1Q 2016, the local space lost nearly $2 million — and 5.5 points of market share. Thanks again to the emergence of Blue Apron, national spot radio grew by 400 percent over 1Q 2016, landing just shy of $600,000 and gaining 2.9 points of share. Network radio spending rose a modest $59,200 but added 2.6 points of share.

The total number of unique DR radio campaigns aired during 1Q 2017 fell 20.2 percent to 146. However, the average spent on a campaign based on the total decreased jumped 15.5 percent to $115,768. Outside the top 10, the increase in average spent on a campaign was slightly stronger: 16 percent to $49,324.

Spending among the top 10 campaigns dipped nearly $800,000. Seven of the top 10 campaigns from 1Q 2016 appeared in 1Q 2017, including top-ranked My Pillow, which rose from No. 3 to displace Rosetta Stone, which fell to No. 3 this year. The highest-ranked newcomer was No. 5 bareMinerals. ■