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VOX SAYS: Radio Continues Downward Spiral, Online Only Hope

By the end of ’08, revenue growth in the radio industry is expected to fall 7%, the second year of negative growth for the medium, according to estimates in a report from from Advisory Services , writes MarketingCharts.

BIA estimates -station revenues will fall to $16.7 billion in , the lowest in more than five years. This indicates the beginning of a downward spiral that could send revenues plummeting as low as $15 billion next year before possibly rebounding in the next decade if radio is able to exploit new media and capitalize on a multiplatform approach.

Revenue percentages will also fall another 10% in 2009, but may have a chance for positive growth by 2010, the report said.

“The already low forecasts for growth in radio coupled with a generally dismal economic climate have also placed a particular strain on the valuations radio stations need to maintain their financing or to be sold,” said Mark R. Fratrik, PhD, VP of BIA Advisory Services. “The waters are very rough right now but the general profitability of radio keeps us optimistic that the industry will weather the storm providing it strategically invests in its online , which will prove to be its rescue as ad budgets continue to shift to more measurable online media.”

Internet Looks Promising
According to BIA, Radio’s future will depend heavily on its ability to embrace new media, mobile technologies and local advertisers. In a recent BIA-led panel, the consensus was that online and traditional media are blending together, offering a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on a multiplatform approach to delivering content to mass and niche audiences, BIA said. [read the whole story here]

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