2024 Radio Revenue Outlook

Radio continues to be a viable and vital channel for advertisers, as it has been for the past 100 years.

As we peer into what to expect for radio revenue in 2024, there are lots of numbers out there from analysts and experts. The outlook is bright for the most part, with radio’s resiliency shining through.

This medium remains a pillar that engages and reaches a majority of the population across demographics and geography. In fact, 91% of people 18 and older listen to radio monthly. This devoted listening equates to 10.9 hours weekly. It continues to be the leader in ad-supported audio and the preferential choice for in-car listening.

Radio has much to provide its advertisers and fans, yet many misconceptions exist about its value as an advertising vehicle. It’s easy for this fallacy to permeate a world where some think digital listening and watching are the only media worth discussing. Digital may get the headlines, but it’s hard to beat radio’s reach and ability to engage and drive buyer intent.

As you plan for 2024 and the conversations you’ll have with advertisers about radio’s value and strengths, keep these facts top of mind:

  • A study found that audio ads have higher engagement and outperform video ads.
  • Research proves that radio ads lift digital ad tactics.
  • Radio’s locality makes it a valuable ad channel for local businesses.
  • AM/FM radio listeners have high purchase intent.
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Trends in the Economy, Consumer Behavior and Perception Shifts Influence Revenue Potential

There are many positives ahead in a year where political advertising will take the stage as a leading industry for local advertising. Economic uncertainty is still in the mix, but inflation has decreased, and job creation remains high. Consumer behaviors also continue to evolve as younger generations have different priorities, and people generally have more access to information, influencing the modern customer journey more than ever.

There’s also the need to remind and educate advertisers on why they should be on the radio. For some, there’s a perception gap here that you should be prepared to address. Data from multiple industry sources revealed that brands get these things wrong about radio:

They think no one’s listening, but people are every day.

They believe AM/FM has “low” reach, but the reality is that it has the greatest.

They deem that ad-supported audio streaming outperforms radio — it doesn’t!

They don’t think radio ads have ROI or sales lift, but they absolutely do, including $23 for every $1 spent on grocery ads.

As a local media seller, correcting perceptions is crucial. By discussing these proof points, you can positively impact your radio spot sales.

The proof of radio’s ROI for advertisers is strong, and more brands are beginning to shift ad budgets back to traditional tactics.


So, what does all this mean for the 2024 radio revenue outlook?

The short answer is that it will be an interesting year with plenty of opportunity. Marketron has gathered data from multiple sources regarding projections for 2024 radio revenue. We’ll explain those in this content experience along with a deep dive into the factors influencing them and takeaways to leave you well positioned for the year ahead.


The Data Story on 2024 Radio Revenue

Many industry organizations have forecasts on radio revenue for 2024. The data comes in several classifications —some are locally focused, while others have a national or global view. Keep in mind that these numbers are projections based on many factors, so your particular market may fall somewhere above or below based on your unique position.

S&P Global Market Intelligence
Insider Intellidence

The variability in these numbers is due to how the research defines radio revenue, methodology and data sources. However, what is confirmed is that advertisers have stated they will continue radio advertising in 2024. A study found that 57% will maintain budgets, and 14% will increase them. In considering where companies will put their traditional media dollars, the recent writers and actors strikes may have many shifting money from linear TV to radio.


  • Radio revenue will be flat or slightly increase, which has much to do with your specific market forces.
  • Brands aren’t exiting radio; most will be spending the same or more.
  • Radio has an opportunity to displace other traditional media channels.

Radio Revenue: The Political Spend

Political is the talk of the 2024 ad spending frenzy, and it offers more context on how radio revenue will rise this year.

The 2024 election has already delivered $43 million in revenue for radio in 2023 (as of late November). The revenue for 2024 includes these projections:


Even though it’s a national race in 2024, most spending will occur at the local level, even for the presidential campaigns. That’s because nominees will spend much more in swing states. Those classified as a swing state have changed, with analysts saying these states will determine the outcome:

  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin


  • Radio is in a solid position to gain revenue from political spot ads.
  • The FCC has regulations about ad costs for “legally qualified candidates,” which impacts what you can charge. These limitations don’t apply to PACs. Keep this in mind when forecasting. Another tip is to complement radio with digital ad tactics to increase the total campaign revenue amount.
  • You should prioritize the “tightest” races in your market when prospecting media buyers.

Other Industries Poised to Expand Local Ad Spending in 2024

Political isn’t the only opportunity for boosting radio spot revenue. There are traditionally high spenders and other verticals that will be key to your revenue growth. According to various reports from industry analysts, the following industries will average the most expenditures.



Retail is routinely the highest radio spender, and the many subcategories of this are varied, from local shops tonational franchises. These advertisers have two urgent needs — more sales and more employees. You can help them with ads for both, designing campaigns to reach the right audience based on dayparts and programming. Whether it’s a promotion for a holiday sale, announcing a new location or driving job seekers to apply, radio is a strong channel for all these advertising goals.

Real Estate


Real estate is a volatile industry and different for every region. Housing inventory remains low, and interest rates are holding but are still higher than they’ve been in several years. If they fall in 2024, real estate will get a boost.

Regardless, real estate agents need to reach local audiences frequently, and radio enables them to do so. They may need help with messaging to potential home buyers and sellers. With a fluctuating market, they need to build trust. Since radio has such a strong relationship with its listeners, it’s the ideal tactic to continue cultivating this.



Local dealers are loyal radio advertisers. They understand the value of local spots and are often your partners for events with on-air personalities. The auto industry has had a unique few years, which included inventory shortages. They’ve completely recovered, and inventory is now sitting on lots a little too long. Incentives have come back, so they now have more specials to broadcast.

To capture more of their traditional advertising dollars, you should consider a few things. First, talk to them about more radio spots beyond new and preowned car sales. Dealerships make a lot of money from service and parts, so they should advertise these things. Second, many businesses have an overabundance of electric vehicles, which were once hard to find. There’s some trepidation from consumers on this, and radio ads can be a compelling way to clear up misconceptions and emphasize the cost savings of EVs while people sit in traffic and burn gas.

Financial Services


The RAB reports that financial services are big radio spenders. Creating trust is critical in financial advertisements, which makes radio a better choice than digital. Listeners also pay more attention to these ads, and if they involve reads from loved on-air talent, their impact can be great for the advertiser.

Financial topics can be complex, and spots are only so long. When talking with financial services about radio ad campaigns, discuss ways to be concise and transparent with copy, and ensure there’s a specific CTA (call to action) to visit in person or online.

Health Care


Every market has health care advertisers, and radio spots work well for them in several ways. This industry also wants to capitalize on the trust factor of radio, and they realize that consumers have options when choosing physicians. These organizations also need employees, as health care workers, especially nurses, are in great demand. These gaps are only growing, and health care facilities need to leverage every ad channel to find their next hire.

To gain more dollars from health care advertisers, discuss how radio spots are an excellent tactic for whomever they want to speak to — patients or potential employees. Pitch them ideas about using real testimonials from current patients and workers to make this authentic.


  • There’s not much change in the industry profile of which ones spend the most on radio, but there is always a chance to grow this by ensuring they know radio drives results for just about any ad goal.
  • Your top radio advertisers have new challenges and concerns; be ready to address them with ideas on how to be more strategic with the creative.
  • Presenting new angles for radio spots and collaborating with on-air talent can make your station more appealing to advertisers.
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The Economic Picture and Its Impact on Radio Advertising

There is cautious optimism for the 2024 economy. Analysts predict inflation continuing to ease and GDP growing. The 2024 projected inflation rate is 2.5%, and GDP growth will be 1.5%. One higher increase will be U.S. retail growth, at 6.5%.

Consumer behavior will include those spending wisely and splurging. There are two sides to every economy, and 2024 will be no different. Shoppers want deals and seek value in their purchases.

Looking at these economic numbers, it’s the story of Wall Street. Radio, however, operates more on Main Street. Your specific market and its growth or retraction will inform how local advertisers spend their dollars.

Any customer will have objections to ad spend no matter how the economy is performing. You can overcome these with data on radio’s reach, ROI, cost-effectiveness and power to influence consumers.


  • Analysts expect economic growth in 2024, fueled by consumer spending.
  • When discussing the economy with advertisers, be specific about your market.
  • Economic uncertainty will always be an objection — counter it with facts.

The Future of Your Station’s Revenue

In the year ahead, your station’s revenue goals are achievable. These forecasts and predictions are a guide to help you determine what’s reasonable and practical regarding revenue growth. In considering all the ways you can grow it, you should focus on becoming experts at selling radio and digital together. It increases your share of wallet and allows you to expand the types of companies you prospect. Making this part of your station’s mindset with upskilling and technology that consolidates and streamlines workflows can make all the difference.

Incorporating digital into your offerings and protecting your spot profits are possible with the right technology, and your radio traffic system is the hub.

The future of radio traffic is integrated, optimized and revenue focused. A modern platform delivers this with:

  • Easy access to your data
  • Flexibility and agility to evolve with the industry
  • Connections to third-party digital advertising software
  • End-to-end systems that streamline the entire life cycle
  • Smart radio tools that enable automation and customization
  • A complete electronic invoicing and payment system to create efficiencies and improve cash flow

Does your traffic system provide these features and opportunities?

If it doesn’t, it’s eating away at your revenue. You deserve a better solution that works for you and supports your revenue goals. We can help.

Our customers get better technology, features, support, collaboration and services. We partner with you to recommend the right traffic system for your organization’s size and structure. We’re also experts at migrating and transitioning stations to a new platform via dedicated implementation teams to make it as seamless as possible.

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Sources: Nielsen Audio Today June 2023, dentsu The Attention Economy 2023, Edison Research’s “Share of Ear”, RAB Audio Pulse, Nielsen Buyer Insights, Vivvix/CMAG, AdImpact 2023 2024 Projections, Statista, S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insider Intelligence, World Federation of Advertisers and Ebiquity, Grand View Research Traditional Radio Advertising Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis, RAB Radio Industry Top Spenders, Wall Street Journal, Economist Intelligence, USA Today, NYU

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