RTDNA/Hofstra Survey Finds Revenue Boost for TV Websites, Loss for Radio Websites

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Washington - Apr 22, 2010 - The "TV and Radio on the Web" portion of the RTDNA/Hofstra University annual survey found that more TV station websites are turning a profit in 2010 and many sites are increasing their content while eliminating site elements that may not be working well. Meanwhile, radio websites aren't faring as well.

According to the survey, TV station websites have continued to climb in profitability -- up 4.3 percent in the last year. The survey also found that websites with bigger staffs are more likely to make a profit. The percentage of radio websites making a profit and breaking even both fell, although modestly. The percentage losing revenue has risen.

Radio stations saw an increase in audio streaming and blogs, according to the survey. Still pictures and news video both dropped slightly this year. The complexity of the radio website had little to do with the market size. The key determinant of complexity was how many people work in news. The consistent jump in website complexity comes when a station or group has at least three people in news.

The survey found TV websites maturing. Text, still pictures and news video are now essentially universal on all TV websites. The use of audio, live cameras, recorded newscasts and blogs are increasingly being utilized. However, streaming audio, podcasts and assembling your own newscasts have each leveled off or declined.

The RTDNA/Hofstra University Survey was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2009 among all 1,770 operating, non-satellite television stations and a random sample of 4,000 radio stations. Valid responses came from 1,355 television stations (76.6 percent) and 203 radio news directors and general managers representing 301 radio stations.

The annual survey is conducted for RTDNA by Bob Papper, the Lawrence Stessin distinguished professor of journalism and chair of the Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations at Hofstra University. This research was supported by the School of Communication at Hofstra University and the Radio Television Digital News Association.

RTDNA members can access the complete data from the survey.

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