UK Radio Ad Revenues Stage Small Recovery

18 August 2006

UK radio advertising revenues have bucked the media trend and shown a welcome upturn in the last quarter.

Latest data from industry regulator Ofcom and trade body RadioCentre reveals Q2 radio revenues rose by 3.5% against a weak comparable period but, more significantly, at a time when some commercial television companies and newspaper publishers reported declines.

National radio revenues were up 4.6% to £82.2 million ($155.8m; €121m), although local radio stations saw a 5.4% slide to £39.9m during the same period.

Branded content, which includes sponsorships, promotions and advertiser-funded programming and is a step on from traditional commercials, rose by 16.2% during the period to a small but promising £26.1m.

The RadioCentre's mission, since it inception earlier this year, has been is to deliver a unified strategy for the future of commercial radio to benefit advertisers, broadcasters and listeners.

Branded content has been key, with stations owned by different groups airing some of the same material to give advertisers a broader reach.

Says Michael O'Brien, head of strategy and operations: "Commercial radio allows brands to get right inside station output in ways that other media cannot match."

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff