Radio Broadcasting & Programming
Companies in this industry operate radio broadcast studios and transmit music, talk shows, news, and other audio entertainment formats to the public. Major US-based companies include iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel Communications), Cumulus Media, and Sirius XM Radio; leading companies based outside the US include the British Broadcasting Corporation (the UK), NRJ Group (France), and Promotora de Informaciones, also known as Grupo Prisa (Spain).
Revenue for the radio industry across 17 major global markets measured by Ofcom, the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the UK's broadcasting industry -- including the US, Germany, China, the UK, France, Japan, Australia, and Italy -- exceeded $35 billion in 2016, according to Ofcom's analysis of data from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Advertising revenues accounted for three-quarters of the overall total. The US has the highest number of radio stations, followed by Brazil, Spain, and Italy.
The US radio broadcasting and programming industry includes about 5,400 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $20 billion.
The industry includes radio networks and stations, but not companies that broadcast only on the internet or that primarily produce taped radio programs.
Business advertising and consumer demographics drive demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on advertisement volume, programming mix, and efficient operations. Large companies have economies of scale in sales operations and in contracting for programming. Small companies can compete effectively with special programming or broadcasters who attract large audiences. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 80% of revenue.
Radio broadcast companies compete with other media, including broadcast and cable TV, newspapers and magazines, outdoor advertising, and the internet, for advertiser dollars. They also compete for listener time and attention with other audio content, including audio books, podcasts, and digital downloads, as well as rapidly expanding online and mobile music streaming services.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major industry product lines are broadcasts (air time) and programming, production, and post-production services. Other products include program rights,
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms