While listener habits continue to shift in the face of internet radio and music streaming services, the U.S. radio industry has managed to hold steady in terms of generating revenue, this according to a study by the firm BIA/Kelsey. The report finds that in 2014, over-the-air radio revenues were $14.3 billion, with online adding $636 million for a total of $14.9 billion. The industry total in 2013 was $14.8 billion.
"Local radio stations continue to maintain an important position in the local media marketplace," said Mark Fratrik, svp and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. "Last year, a slight decline in over-the-air revenues was offset by an increase in online revenues, resulting in steady overall revenues."
According to BIA/Kelsey's projections, both terrestrial and online radio stations will continue growing at slight rates over the next few years, with revenue climbing to $16.2 billion by 2019.
iHeartMedia's KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, the radio home of Ryan Seacrest, is now the top revenue-producing station in the U.S., with an estimated $65.9 million in 2014. The top-40 powerhouse edged longtime leader WTOP, an AM news station in Washington, DC that generated $63.5 million. iHeart's WHTZ (Z100) in New York City was ranked third with $51 million, according to the report. Overall, the top-ten list has five entries from CBS Radio, four via iHeartMedia and one from Hubbard Radio.
BIA/Kelsey also found that radio station trading activity held steady from the previous year, with 934 stations changing owners at a total value of $950 million.