It goes up. It comes down. It repeats. The newspaper advertising industry’s revenue has improved and dropped and improved and dropped and improved again and dropped again. It jumped 16.3% in 1983 and then took a hit in 1991 of 6.0%. In 1997 we saw an increase of 8.5% and then just 4 years later watched newspaper ad revenue fall 9.0%. Newspaper advertising income fell 28.9% in the third quarter of 2009. Cause for concern? Probably not.The idea that “history repeats itself” doesn’t seem inappropriate perhaps just a little cliché. You get the idea. We have been here before. Newspaper advertising revenue has never experienced the amount of loss we have seen in recent years, however there are outside factors playing into this drop that are news to the industry. For example, in the past two years internet advertising has grown in popularity and can be held at least partially responsible for the third quarter of 2009 being the 8th consecutive quarter of double digit decline in newspaper ad revenue.The internet has made it easy for people to advertise to a large perceived audience. A huge number of websites out there offer some type of advertising, and the ones that don’t may have missed an opportunity. New advertising vehicles can excite the masses and create a bandwagon effect. Internet and other “interactive” advertising is no exception. The wide accessibility of internet advertising has created fierce competition (to put it mildly). Many websites you visit are covered with ads selling something, often multiple companies selling the same somethings.The growth of internet advertising has not fared well for newspapers. This situation however, has created a prosperous environment for newspaper advertisers. Less ad revenue means that fewer advertisers are spending their advertising dollars in the newspaper. Fewer advertisers in the newspaper represent less competition for those advertising. Ultimately, less competition among advertisers results in an increased return on marketing expenditures for those still advertising in newspapers.Newspaper circulation has only dropped an average of 7.41% in the past two years. Not as much as many have speculated. Especially when you consider that on a national level we are talking about circulations in the high 40 millions.Here is the point: advertisers are faced with far less competition in newspapers today than they did two years ago, while the product has remained more or less unchanged. Newspaper advertising is producing more results for people that have stuck with it.While it remains uncertain that this trend will continue, it appears increasingly likely that the newspaper industry has seen its darkest hour in advertising revenue. The first signs of the rebound are apparent. US Newspapers, a full service advertising agency that specializes in newspaper advertising, reports that they are expecting an increase in advertising revenue of 68% this quarter (compared to the first quarter of 2009). The companies’ president, Jim Trammel explains, “We have seen a large increase in new business over the past couple months. Past clients have been returning on a regular basis as well. We know that the ads are doing well, because re-orders are consistent. If this is any indication of the industry as a whole, and I believe it is, it looks as though things are looking up for newspapers.”
Effective advertising is a must to encourage sales growth. Traditional advertising mediums have been decreasing as Internet advertising increases. However, some traditional mediums have found new niches and actually reach more consumers than ever. While print media audiences shrink, radio is doing better than ever. Consumers that have cancelled their newspaper subscriptions in favor of online news still turn on the radio during the morning commute. Plus, many radio stations now broadcast online as well, bringing their broadcasts into the workplace. The increases in audience make radio a solid option for marketing. The price may be the only thing preventing a business from embarking on an aggressive radio advertising campaigns. Radio advertising rates vary tremendously depending on several factors.What Determines the Price of Advertising Slots?For radio, the three most basic factors that determine the slot price are: size of audience, time slot and number of spots. The basic laws of supply and demand apply to radio pricing. The more demand for the slot, the higher the price. The larger the quantity purchases, the lower the price.1. Size of Audience – The more people who listen to a given radio station, the more desirable the advertising. After all, when a business can reach hundreds of thousands of people through a single advertising medium it is much more effective. The specific demographic of listeners can also affect the price. Stations that broadcast to higher income listeners are more sought after than those that focus on a younger audience earners.2. Time Slot – When an advertisement runs impacts radio advertising rates even more than the total audience size. The total size of the radio audience determines basic rates, but very popular shows are priced even higher. If a business wishes to advertise solely during the most prime time slots, they will pay premium prices. The two most listened to slots are during the morning commute from 7am to 9am and the evening commute from 4pm to 6pm.3. Number of Spots – As with any large purchase, the more spots are contracted, the less each spot costs. A business purchasing a single spot will pay much more on a per item basis than a business launching an entire campaign. To ensure broad exposure, a business must purchase many slots running over a period of time.Building an Affordable Radio Advertising CampaignFor some businesses, local radio seems to be the best bet. Not only are the prices lower, most consumers will not travel more than twenty miles to make a purchase. By limiting advertisements to local stations, business owners get the highest return on investment. Local consumers hear the advertisements, and businesses can afford more slots given the limited audience. Larger corporations often use national radio shows, but few small and medium size businesses can afford the expense. Another thing to keep in mind is total advertising budget. Certain times of year are most lucrative, but spaces also sell out quickly. For a business to purchase Christmas slots, it might be best to finalize contracts as early as August.The bottom line for getting the best radio advertising rates is to work with a professional radio advertising agency to help you. They can help develop your marketing strategy and make recommendations such as the best times to book, buying in quantity or perhaps being flexible on time slots. Buying a few prime time slots along with many off-prime spots may allow a business to maximize a marketing budget. After all, even during slower radio times there are still thousands of listeners. Radio advertising agencies can create great package deals within your budget.