S&P: Bumpy road for media companies

According to this Business Week story, Standard & Poor’s sees a bumpy road ahead for media companies:

S&P expects radio advertising to grow only in the low-single-digit percentages in 2006. Radio ad demand is under pressure from competing media such as the iPod and satellite radio, as well as from excess commercial loads. … Even with lethargic revenue growth, radio broadcasters generate significant free cash flow.

S&P expects that online ad growth in 2006 will exceed 20%, reflecting the continued strength of both search and brand advertising. Marketers appear to be gaining confidence in the Internet’s ability to reach consumers. For example, Yahoo! indicated that its brand-marketing revenue from the top 200 U.S. brand advertisers grew more than 45% in second-quarter 2005, and Ford Motor has allocated about 15% of its marketing budget to online initiatives. Furthermore, some marketers have begun to incorporate search advertising as part of their overall branding campaigns, which could spur more online-ad spending.

Even assuming that growth decelerates somewhat, Internet advertising is likely to exceed magazine advertising in 2006. Spending on Internet ads could potentially surpass spending on radio in 2008, assuming 1% to 2% growth in radio ad spending and a minimal contribution from satellite radio.


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