In the ever-evolving advertising landscape, digital platforms continue to reshape the industry. Recent data reveals a significant shift in radio advertising, with digital revenue soaring to new heights. According to the annual digital revenue benchmarking report released by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) and Borrell Associates, radio’s digital revenue surged by 6.8% in 2023, reaching an impressive $1.9 billion.

This growth marks a substantial increase from previous years, with radio stations generating $1.8 billion in digital sales in 2022, showing a remarkable 21.1% increase over 2021. The report further highlights that digital sales accounted for 21% of radio ad revenue in 2023, signalling a substantial market share.

The rise in digital sales is not limited to specific market sizes, as small and large market clusters experienced significant gains. Small-market stations saw an average digital revenue of $82,835, while stations in larger markets reached an impressive $1.2 million. These figures underscore the broad appeal and effectiveness of radio advertising across various markets.

Looking ahead to 2024, the radio industry is poised for even more growth in digital ad sales, with expectations of surpassing the $2 billion mark. This projection underscores the increasing importance of digital advertising in radio’s revenue stream.

Among the report’s findings

  • Radio grew market share of “obtainable digital revenue” for local media companies, stealing share from competitors.
  • Strong digital sales since the pandemic have helped restore overall growth to the radio industry, delivering a positive compound annual growth rate of 6.4% since 2020 when combining digital and core radio revenue.
  • Seventy percent of radio buyers are planning to purchase something new this year; the top three things are digital products that most stations sell.
  • More than half of radio buyers don’t yet buy digital advertising from their radio station, signalling a large upside potential.


Station managers are clamouring for more digital-only sales reps to meet demand.

Erica Farber, President and CEO of RAB, emphasises the opportunities that digital advertising presents for radio stations to serve their local clients better. She highlights the importance of understanding digital services and leveraging them to create professional and revenue opportunities for radio marketing professionals.

Gordon Borrell, CEO of Borrell Associates, commends radio’s resilience in the digital space, noting its ability to steal market share from competitors over the past four years. He acknowledges radio’s ongoing efforts to adapt and thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.

Todd Kalman, Senior VP of Sales at Marketron, emphasises the importance of leveraging insights from the report to drive revenue growth for radio companies. He underscores the opportunities for radio companies to capitalise on digital and linear campaigns to win new customers and expand their market share.

As digital advertising evolves, radio remains a vital player, leveraging technology and data to deliver targeted and effective advertising solutions. The RAB’s digital benchmarking report offers valuable insights into the current state of radio advertising and sets the stage for future growth and innovation in the industry.

RAB members can visit here to access the full 52-page report and learn more about the findings.