Local Radio Ad Sales In Reverse; Another Medium Flirts With Recession

Need more evidence that UK media is entering an advertising recession? Well, commercial radio revenue between April and June was more than 10 percent down on the same period last year. That’s after four quarters of growth, Guardian.co.uk reports. The CEO of RadioCentre – the organisation that thinks radio stations will be killed off merely by the BBC adding some videos to its local sites – says: “We’re confident that this is only a temporary blip.”

But is Andrew Harrison in denial? As he himself notes, advertising figures from the likes of ITV (LSE: ITV) and local newspapers have all shot downward in recent months. There’s little about commercial radio that could buck this trend – indeed, it’s more resilient on local advertising, where the economic pressure really is, than troubled ITV.

Although it feels like every third ad on local radio these days is for local radio advertising itself, revenue fell 8.4 percent year-on-year, so the sector is trying to increase revenue from sponsorship and promotions. What began merely as the internet attracting ad spend away from traditional media is now turning in to an all-round ad expenditure retraction, with those traditional media suffering from the double blow of web-bound ad spend and the economic downturn.