Radio Revenues Remained Stable in 2014

The good news is revenues remained stable for the large commercial radio broadcasters last year; however, the costs of doing business increased—and this after streamlining operations and severe cutbacks in headcounts in towns and cities across the nation.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released statistical and financial information on the 695 commercial radio stations operating in Canada, and for the radio services operated by the CBC, for the broadcast year ending August 31, 2014.

Revenues have remained relatively stable from the previous year in spite of competition from satellite, online and mobile services. Total revenues for AM and FM stations fell 0.52%, from $1.623 billion in 2013 to $1.614B in 2014. These commercial radio broadcasters currently employ 9,900 individuals.

In the past year, commercial stations have increased their expenditures by $19 million, for a total of $1.27B. As a result, profits before interest and taxes (PBIT) decreased from $328 to $299 million, resulting in a decline in the PBIT margin, which went from 20.2% to 18.5%.

Despite additional revenue of $1.1 million from the sale of national advertising on its Espace Musique and Radio 2 stations, total revenues for the 82 radio services operated by CBC decreased by 5.6% to $287.6 million in 2014. This decrease is primarily due to a decline in parliamentary appropriations directed to the public broadcaster's radio services.

Each year, the CRTC compiles financial data on the Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications industry to produce a series of reports. This year's report on the radio sector provides data on a national basis and by individual markets, as well as for the 82 radio stations operated by CBC.

Recently, the CRTC released the 2014 financial results for traditional television stations, specialty, pay, pay-per-view and video-on-demand television services, and broadcast distribution companies. Soon, it will release its annual Communications Monitoring Report.

These annual reports allow Canadians to stay informed about the state of the Canadian communication industry and help them participate in the CRTC's public consultations.

Quick facts

AM and FM radio

  • Revenues from the sale of local advertising for AM and FM radio stations decreased by 2.86% from $1.12 billion in 2013 to $1.09 billion in 2014, while national advertising sales increased by 4.4% from $476.3 million to $497.4 million.

FM Radio

  • Canadian FM radio stations continued to produce most of the total revenue. The addition of twelve new FM radio stations in 2014 brought the number of stations operating in the country to 568.
  • Those stations generated revenues of $1.32 billion in 2014, which represents a slight decrease of 0.4% from the $1.33 billion of the previous year.
  • Revenues for English-language FM radio stations decreased by 1.1%, from $1.05 billion to $1.04 billion.
  • Revenues for French-language FM stations increased by 2.4%, from $253.2 million to $259.2 million.
  • Revenues for ethnic FM stations increased by 1.3% for a total of $21.3 million.

AM Radio

  • There were 127 AM stations in Canada in 2014. Total revenues for AM radio stations decreased by 1.3%, from $294.6 million in 2013 to $290.9 million in 2014.

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio services

  • CBC radio services operating under the Espace Musique and Radio 2 brands generated $1.1 million in national advertising sales.
  • Despite that additional source of revenue, total revenues for the 82 radio services operated by CBC decreased by 5.6%, to $287.6 million in 2014. That is predominantly due to a decline in the parliamentary appropriations directed to the public broadcaster's radio services, which went from $295.5 million in 2013 to $277.3 million in 2014.
  • The costs incurred by the public broadcaster's 82 radio stations amounted to $274.7 million in 2014, a decrease of 3% from the previous year.

Related links

Commercial radio – Statistical and Financial Summaries 2010–2014

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