Broadcaster Magazine

Canadian radio ad revenue up 6.5%

TORONTO – While SARS, mad cow, and blackout affected fourth quarter results, Canadian radio revenue for the broadcast year ended August 31, 2003, was $1.15 billion, 6.5% ahead of the previous year despite a difficult final quarter in the Toronto market, says the Radio Marketing Bureau.

"Given that advertising revenues for all media in Canada grew by approximately 3% during the past year, radio’s increase of 6.5% was a strong performance," said John Harding, president of RMB, at the group’s annual general meeting held yesterday in Toronto. "SARS, mad cow and the blackout all affected the Toronto market in the last quarter of the year, but stations in Canada’s largest market still posted an increase in ad revenue of 0.8% for that period.

"By the end of the third quarter, Canadian radio revenue was ahead of 2002 by 7.4%, so the challenges over the summer did have a substantial negative impact, resulting in the final 6.5% total annual growth. On the other hand, the blackout was radio’s finest hour. Stations were back on the air quickly and were a vital source of news, updates and information," added Harding.

"The 2003 revenue performance continues on from 2002, which saw strong growth of 2.9% versus 1.8% average growth for the broader media industry. We expect radio revenue to show further growth in the coming fiscal year. Radio continues to offer a strong return on investment and accountability for advertisers while helping them meet strategic objectives," he concluded.

The Radio Marketing Bureau represents radio stations generating over 80% of all Radio revenue in Canada. It incorporates a wide range of services for radio and advertising professionals to help increase advertising return on investment, including strategy formulation, media planning, research, creative and professional training.