Third Quarter Is 2017’s Worst Yet for DR Radio Billings

Media Billings
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DR radio’s third consecutive quarterly decrease was its worst — by far. According to Kantar Media’s research, the DR radio market reached $10,663,000 in third-quarter 2017 — a 42.6-percent decrease from 3Q 2016 figures. The $7.9 million loss pushed radio billings to their smallest 3Q total since 2013.

Just as it did in the year’s first two quarters, the local sector accounted for the bulk of radio’s losses, while the “Drug and Toiletry” and “Automotive and Travel” categories losses combined nearly equaled the quarter’s overall decrease. The total number of radio campaigns dropped 26.5 percent. 

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These Losses Go to 11

Eleven of the 17 categories reported decreases in 3Q 2017.  The biggest losers: “Automotive and Travel” (thanks to the disappearance of the campaign) lost nearly all of the $1.9 million it recorded in 3Q 2016; and “Drug and Toiletry” lost nearly $6 million (57.4 percent). 

Only “Household, Furniture, and Appliances,” up nearly $600,000, and “General,” up $250,000, gained appreciably. 

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Total Campaigns Nosedive, Too

All three DR radio outlets reported losses in the third quarter, and while local radio’s losses far outstripped the others, network radio also suffered pretty heavy cuts. After gaining $3.4 million in 3Q 2016, the local space more than gave it all back, losing $5.6 million (47.6 percent) and 5.6 points of market share. Network radio spending fell $2.2 million (39.1 percent) but added 1.8 points of share, while national spot radio lost a more manageable $87,900 (7.7 percent). 

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Thirty-five fewer total unique DR radio campaigns aired during 3Q 2017. The total fell 26.5 percent to 97. Spending per campaign dipped to $109,928, a 21.8-percent decrease. Outside the top 10, the cut in average spending was slightly better: an 8.2-percent dip to $37,683.

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Spending among the top 10 campaigns dropped precipitously — 45.6 percent to $7,384,600. The loss — slightly worse than the market as a whole — meant that the top 10 campaigns accounted for 69.3 percent of overall 3Q 2017 spend, down from a 73-percent share in 3Q 2016. Just four of the top 10 campaigns from third-quarter 2016 appeared in 3Q 2017, including My Pillow, which regained the top spot from Proactiv Solution, which dipped to No. 7. Dell was the highest-ranked newcomer to the top 10, landing at No. 3 with $933,500 in spending.

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Kantar Media, formerly TNS Media Intelligence, is the leading provider of strategic media and marketing information. Utilizing highly innovative tracking technologies, the company collects expenditure, occurrence and creative intelligence on millions of brands across 20 media. These figures are based on Kantar Media multimedia ad expenditure database across the following measured media: Local Radio, National Spot Radio and Network Radio. Figures do not contain public service announcement (PSA) data. For information about Kantar Media, call (212) 991-6000 or visit
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