The ad reset continues. Ad sales may have a brighter outlook in the weeks and months to come, but longer term Cumulus Media CEO Lew Dickey believes there’s a larger reset by local advertisers underway as they determine how much of their marketing budget to put into digital, social and traditional media like radio. “I think we’re going to see much more of a shakeout over the next few years and that will ultimately set the tone for our industry,” Dickey predicted.
Radio executives say the share of revenue from digital revenue continues to grow rapidly, with some companies now getting more than 10 cents of every dollar billed from an online property. “If somebody is doing 1% in digital, they’ve had their head in the sand over the last couple of years,” Walsh said.
While Connoisseur Media has spent time, effort and money on digital as other companies, CEO Jeff Warshaw worries that the radio industry may be giving away its competitive advantage by increasing spotloads, dumping local air personalities and shrinking local sales forces. “It’s like we’re killing the goose that laid the golden egg and saying ‘wow isn’t it a delicious meal’ — and ignoring the fact that this is a business where virtually all of our cash flow is coming from going out and selling local advertisers.”