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Overall U.S. Radio Industry Revenues Down Slightly to $14.7 Billion in 2015

Mar 30, 2016

After a year at number two, Hubbard Radio’s WTOP-FM, in Washington, DC, reclaims the top spot among the top 10 revenue-generating U.S. radio stations in 2015.

CHANTILLY, Va. (March 30, 2016) – After sitting at number two in 2014, Hubbard Radio’s Washington, DC news station, WTOP-FM, has moved back to the number one spot as the country’s top revenue-producing radio station in 2015, bumping last year’s leader, iHeartMedia’s KIIS-FM of Los Angeles, to the second spot, according the first quarter edition of BIA/Kelsey’s 2016 Investing In Radio® Market Report. WTOP-FM took in $65 million in advertising revenues in 2015, as overall industry revenues dipped slightly to $14.7 billion. Despite slipping to number two, iHeartMedia garnered a significant share of U.S. radio revenues, with five stations in the top 10.

In 2015, U.S. over-the-air radio revenues were $14 billion, with 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.”

According to BIA/Kelsey’s estimates, the top ten revenue-generating U.S. radio stations in 2015 are shown in the chart below:

Investing In Radio Publications

A complete profile of every Arbitron-rated market, with historic and projected demographic and financial statistics, is available in the 2016 first-quarter edition of “Investing In Radio® Market Report,” which is now available for purchase. It also includes station competitive and performance information including 12-plus total day Arbitron ratings for the past eight ratings periods, BIA/Kelsey’s estimated advertising revenues, technical data, ownership and acquisition information, and more details for every market. Information in the Investing In books is also available in Media Access Pro™, a data and analytical service that delivers comprehensive information on the radio, television and newspaper industries.

BIA/Kelsey’s forecast methodology is based on actual estimates of local online market advertising revenue totals. Estimates are solicited from local radio stations and knowledgeable local market experts. To provide an accurate review of the advertising marketplace, the model does not include revenues of e-commerce sales through daily or weekly deal campaigns.

For more information on all of BIA/Kelsey’s Investing In publications, visit The Investing In Radio Market Report, first-quarter edition, can be purchased online or by calling (800) 331-5086 or emailing

About BIA/Kelsey

BIA/Kelsey defines, organizes and analyzes the multibillion-dollar Local Commerce Universe (LCU) for media, technology companies, brands and agencies competing in today’s multiplatform, interactive local media and marketing arena. LCU, the firm’s proprietary vision for tracking the evolving local marketplace, provides an effective framework for delivering meaningful data-driven analysis, consulting and valuation services, competitive intelligence and state-of-the-industry conferences. Learn more about BIA/Kelsey at

For more information contact:
Eileen Pacheco
For BIA/Kelsey
(508) 254-1440