Saturday, September 16, 2006

Canadian Radio Ad Sales UP 10.4%

The 2006 broadcast year, ending August 27th, was remarkable for radio in Canada. Specifically, between January and July of this year, national radio sales in Canada were up 10.4% over last year, a stark contrast to the United States which experienced marginal growth of 1.0% during the same time frame.

Ontario continues to lead Canada in terms of total national radio advertising, accounting for 39% of sales by imsradio. The economic boom in Alberta was reflected in increased radio spending, up 26%. Alberta now ranks second, making up 23% of national sales. Quebec, which comprises 21% of sales was up 11.3%.

Although media buying agencies make up the vast majority of national radio sales, increased focus on emerging categories and non-traditional radio advertisers has introduced more clients to the power of the medium. Client-direct sales by imsradio increased by 46% over last year.

“We are continually striving to find new ways radio can meet the needs of advertisers,” says imsradio President and CEO Ron Hutchinson. “The flexibility of the medium has given our clients unparalleled opportunities to reach their target consumers.”

Spending by the Retail category has been steadily increasing over the past three years and is now the top spending category on imsradio-represented stations, surpassing Automotive which was down 2.7%. Restaurants, Government and Health Care round out the top five, which in total account for 48% of total revenue.

Top 5 Categories by Spending Retail 14.6% Automotive 12.7% Restaurants 8.0% Health Care 7.0% Government 5.9% TOTAL 48.2%

Non-alcoholic beverages was the leading growth category, up 214% from a year ago. This booming category has seen a five-fold increase in radio spending in just three years. Spending by Business Equipment advertisers was up by 182%, quadrupling since 2004.

Top 5 Categories by Percentage Increase vs. Year Ago Beverages - Non-Alcoholic 214% Business Equipment 182% Real Estate 127% Government 51% Associations & Groups 46% The 25-54 demographic continues to dominate radio buying. This group accounted for 53.9% of total imsradio spending in 2006, up from 52.0% last year.

However, the aging of the population is beginning to be reflected in national radio buying. Adult 35+ and older buys have been on the rise, up 4.0% from a year ago, with Health Care spending comprising much of the growth.

In spite of claims to the contrary, radio continues to prosper with younger demos. Men 18-34 and 18-49 still remained strong (up 13.7% and 38.8% respectively), while Women 18-34 are up four-fold.

“The 2007 broadcast year is off to a great start. Both advertisers and agencies are increasingly recognizing the effectiveness and efficiencies radio has to offer. We look forward to working with them to make 2007 another successful year.”

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