Radio sales points have slashed their airtime rates to survive a
sluggish summer and a downturn in dotcom adspend.
Media agency radio planners and buyers have reported that Emap and Opus
have dropped their rates by as much as 10 per cent for the month of
Capital Radio and Virgin have also lowered their prices.
Chrysalis has not been affected to the same degree because it has a
strict inventory policy of only running three breaks per hour and
selling three ads per break.
The drop in prices has been attributed to an overall slowdown in the
market, combined with the fact that many web publishers are cutting
their advertising budgets after an initial six-month spending spree.
Some observers believe the common radio sales policy whereby advertisers
book radio campaigns at least four to six weeks in advance has not
helped the situation.
Howard Bareham, head of radio at MindShare, said: ’The short-term market
has evaporated because radio sales executives will penalise you if you
don’t book early.’
According to Bareham, advertisers have been penalised by as much as 10
per cent for booking a late radio advertising campaign.
Commenting on the rise and fall of prices, another radio buyer said: ’As
in every media sector, internet companies have pushed traditional
advertisers out of the market, the cost per thousand has risen and
advertising revenue has gone up by as much as 30 per cent.’
He added that as an advertising medium, radio has been growing by 10 per
cent year on year.
’August seems worse than it actually is because the medium has
over-achieved in the past six months. Every market has its ups and downs
and, overall, radio’s story has been glowing. But radio sales houses
should accept the lows as well as the highs.’
A spokesperson at Opus commented: ’August is traditionally a bad month
for the radio industry as everyone goes away on holiday.
’Our forecast is always slightly lower for August but nobody here has
opened up the bargain basement.’