Spanish stations would have stopped entering some 89 million euros between January and September 2020.

Spanish stations would have stopped entering some 89 million euros between January and September 2020.

Spanish stations would have stopped entering some 89 million euros between January and September 2020.

Cadena Ser radio studio in Madrid, in a file image.

Spanish radio continues its long journey through the desert, trying to row against the tide and mitigate the harsh impact that the covid on your income. The data collected by invested point out that the collapse has been at least 30% in the first nine months of the year. The problem is that the campaigns have collapsed and many advertisers have drastically reduced their investments.

The Atresmedia group (owners of Onda Cero and Europa FM) warned this Thursday in their quarterly report sent to the CNMV that investment in the radio advertising market fell 29.2% through September, according to internal estimates. A figure that other sources raise up to 35% in the case of the largest broadcasters.

The truth is that the money that the main Spanish radio stations are letting in is very relevant. Between January and September last year entered 296 million eurosaccording to figures from Infoadexso a 30% decline would be leading them to bill about 89 million euros less.

If we pay attention to the advertising quota of the large chains at the end of 2019, the most affected is being Ser chain. The Prisa station has a 40.5% share, so in the first nine months of the year it would have lost some 35 million euros. If we consider that in all of 2019 it invoiced 169 million, the break is important.

In the case of Cope, its participation in the Spanish radio market is approximately 27%, therefore, it would be losing revenues of some 24 million, only in the first nine months of the year. In all of 2019, 113 million entered.

the immediate future

In the case of Zero Wave, their accounts presented this Thursday indicate that their income fell to 44.5 million euros, about 14.6 million less than the same period of the previous year. The group of Atresmedia stations has a share of 19% and entered 79.7 million in 2019.

What happened? Evidently, the pandemic has had a severe impact on advertising accounts and income – the only ones that radio stations have – since advertisers have reduced their investments in the face of the arrival of the strong economic crisis.

However, the main problem is that the outbreaks of the pandemic throughout Spain and the world have ended stone the shy green shoots that the broadcasters’ commercial teams expected for the second half of the year.

The data from InfoAdex indicate that in the first half of the year the radio sector billed 165 million euros for advertising, which meant a drop of 34.3% compared to revenue for the same period of the previous year. If the first six months of the year had a 30% drop, it means that nothing has picked up and that the third quarter has only brought milder drops of approximately 25% (30% less in July and 23% drop in August).

What to expect for the end of the year? Everything will depend on the pandemic, if the strictest confinements continue or if businesses begin to be affected again, obviously, the impact will continue to be harsh. Local advertising is one of the keys to broadcasters and in the case of the big ones it represents at least half of all their income. In this way, with local businesses closed there will be no money for advertising.

Cost control

In this sense, and only with the current In this situation, broadcasters’ revenue forecasts for the second half of the year have been significantly reduced and, therefore, cost control must be tightened.

That is why broadcasters look for formulas to maintain sine die cost adjustmentsat least during 2021 and perhaps 2022. This is without prejudice to the fact that layoffs would also be launched next year.

As this newspaper already reported, the sources consulted indicate that the new normal, which threatens to become the long-term normal, leaves a series of positions in the radio stations that are no longer useful. This is the case of technicians and journalists who usually went to sporting events. With the restrictions of the Covid that only allows the entry of a professional through the soccer fields there are dozens of workers who have spent months without finding a fit in their teams.

The same goes for studio technicians. Most of the stars and writers have been telecommuting for months, rendering many staff at station headquarters useless as they no longer have to ensure that a series of connections go smoothly. The directors of the chains have realized that they can carry out the programs without so much human equipment and that it is much less expensive to have your great voices intervene from home.

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