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BIA/Kelsey Releases Radio Revenue Estimates – WTOP-FM Takes Back Its Crown

by | Mar 31, 2016 | BIA, Blog, Local Advertising Forecast, Radio

As I alluded to on Monday, Hubbard Radio‘s Washington, DC talk station WTOP-FM has taken back its crown as the top revenue generating station in the United States in 2015, after falling to second place last year. iHeartMedia‘s KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, last year’s #1 station, fell into a very close second place spot with only $300K separating it from WTOP-FM. Don’t feel bad for iHeartMedia, though… they own five of the top 10 stations nationwide — three in Los Angeles and two in New York. CBS Radio is the other big winner, with four stations in the top 10 — three in New York and one in Chicago. WTOP-FM was the only station in the top 3 to post revenue growth — growing 2.4% from $63.5 million in 2014 to $65.0 million in 2015.

The revenue estimates from BIA/Kelsey’s 2016 Investing In Radio® Market Report. Overall U.S. radio revenues dipped slightly to $14.7 billion in 2015, with over-the-air (OTA) radio revenues generating $14 billion and online generating $710 million. BIA/Kelsey forecasts both sources of radio income to continue growing at a slight pace over the next few years, reaching $15.9 billion overall in 2020.

“Despite declining OTA revenues, radio remains an important part of the local marketing mix, as the fourth largest local media segment, with more than 10 percent of the local ad revenue pie,” said Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey. “We do expect a slight bump in overall U.S. radio revenues this year, boosted by political spending and double-digit increases in online revenues.”


Check out our website for more information on all of BIA/Kelsey’s Investing In publications. The Investing In Radio Market Report, first-quarter edition, can be purchased online or by calling (800) 331-5086 or emailing The Radio Ownership report is also available.