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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Your Revenue Will Be Flat Until You Prove Me Wrong


Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker gave her annual Radio Show financial presentation Thursday. Every year Ryvicker brings a truck-load of economic and broadcast research, complete with charts, graphs, forecasts, and predictions. She doesn't sugar-coat her information and is probably the analyst most respected among radio broadcasters. And Ryvicker spoke a lot about ad revenue shifting to digital and a lot about radio's non-existent revenue growth. Unfortunately, a lot of what she had to say this year was that the baby is ugly.

Ryvicker forecast radio to be up 1 percent in 2014 and flat in 2015, adding that she hopes this holds true -- which couldn't have been good news to the audience. She says the investment community believes radio will be down 3 percent, and radio stocks are down 21 percent year to date. On the topic of political revenue, Ryvicker says political is coming in later than usual, and a lot of it is shifting into digital, and noted that, "It could be coming from radio." Overall, Ryvicker expects $4.8 billion to be spent on political advertising in 2014, with half of that going to television. She says TV's political revs will be down 14 percent, and radio will be down 11 percent from 2012.

Ryvicker says a lot of the bad news is due to national advertising being weak in 2014. Getting more specific on the shift of revenue to digital, she said it's not so much going to display or search, but to social and mobile. What's her suggestion to improve the revenue flatline? "Keep doing what your'e doing," she said. "I have all the faith in the world you'll figure it out." Ryvicker told a story about an investor who asked her who was listening to radio. Her answer was, "The question is, ?Who's not listening?'? She added, "My 5- and 7-year-old children listen to the radio more than they watch TV."

Ryvicker did say a big positive for radio is NextRadio: "There is no downside. It gives radio a sexy message."

(9/12/2014 6:32:09 PM)
Sorry, Mike. I wuz out of line. I'm glad it was a kinder gentler you who straightened me out. I don' know what I was thinking.
(9/12/2014 4:38:04 PM)
Ronald, that costs money which goes against profits which goes against bonuses. Who are you to deny the suits their bonuses?
(9/12/2014 10:04:37 AM)
We might take a shot at improving our audience and advertiser services. That's an option. (If I'm out of line, I expect someone will bring that to my attention.)

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