Hispanic Media Ad Expenditures Tumble For Radio, Rise For TV In Q1

According to Kantar Media, Spanish-language television continues to enjoy robust advertising growth.

However, what Kantar defines as “Hispanic Local Radio” experienced a significant year-over-year dip–a worrying sign in a volatile market for Spanish-language and Hispanic-targeted AM and FM broadcasters.

Spanish Language TV soared 18.0 percent in Q1 2014, compared to Q1 2013, primarily from gains at broadcast networks, Kantar reported today. The category includes four undisclosed Spanish-language broadcast networks, four Spanish-language cable networks, and 77 local broadcast channels targeting Spanish speakers.

At the same time, “Hispanic Local Radio” stations–reflecting Spanish-language stations in 24 markets–were down 10.8 percent. The decline is being blamed on lower spending from retailers, auto dealers and restaurant categories. It is the first time Kantar has provided a specific look at Hispanic radio in its quarterly ad expenditure reports.

Total advertising expenditures increased 5.7 percent in Q1 2014, to $34.9 billion, Kantar Media notes.

Every measured type of television had expenditure increases in Q1 2014, compared to Q1 2013. Call it the Olympics Effect.

“The Winter Olympics delivered its expected windfall in the first quarter, adding about $600 million of incremental ad spending to the marketplace. But the nature of the event is that this money is narrowly distributed and doesn’t benefit all sectors of the market,” said Jon Swallen, Chief Research Officer at Kantar Media North America. “Subtracting the Olympics’ contribution, the growth rate for remaining expenditures was just under four percent.”

Overall results for the radio industry were mixed: National Spot Radio was up 6.7 percent, driven by a larger number of brands using the medium. But local radio, reflected by Kantar as only English-language stations, suffered an ad expenditure decline of 4.7 percent. 


As noted in the EPMG-distributed Hispanic Print Overview 2014, produced by The Adam R Jacobson Editorial Services & Research Consultancy, Hispanic print media has fared strongly compared to English-language print media–notably newspapers–with respect to ad growth.

This is reflected in Kantar’s latest data, which show year-over-year ad expenditures for Spanish-language newspapers statistically flat (+0.2) in Q1. By comparison, all print newspaper media experienced a 5% year-over-year ad expenditure drop in the quarter.

Similarly, Hispanic magazines–led by People en Español and Vandidades–experienced a strong 15.8 percent ad expenditures gain in Q1 ’14, compared to the same period a year ago. Overall, magazines saw a 1.6 percent decline in ad revenue during the period. The bottom line totals were skewed by severe reductions from the two largest magazine advertisers (Procter & Gamble and L’Oreal), who account for more than ten percent of total spending for all magazines, regardless of language.


According to local advertising research firm BIA/Kelsey, the No. 1 Hispanic radio station by estimated revenue in FY 2013 is Univision Radio’s gold-based Spanish Adult Contemporary KLVE-FM “Radio Amor” in Los Angeles. The station accounted for $31.2 million in estimated revenue during the year.

Close behind at No. 2 is another L.A. radio station—Liberman’s regional Mexican KBUE-FM “Qué Buena,” with estimated billing of $27.3 million. Three L.A.-based radio stations can be found in the top five, with SBS’s KLAX-FM “La Raza” ranked seventh nationally with an estimated $20.3 million in revenue.

Univision stations dominate the top 10, while SBS takes three of the spots. But SBS dominates in New York, as Univision’s WXNY-FM and WADO-AM are not among the nation’s top 10 Hispanic stations by billing.

Top 10 radio stations by estimated annual billing estimates

 Call Letters Format Market

Market Rank

Owner Revenue (in 000s)
KLVE Spanish AC Los Angeles, CA




KBUE Reg. Mexican Los Angeles, CA




WSKQ Tropical New York, NY




KLTN Reg. Mexican Houston, TX




KSCA Reg. Mexican AC Los Angeles, CA




WOJO Reg. Mexican Chicago, IL




KLAX Reg. Mexican Los Angeles, CA




WAMR Spanish Cont. Miami, FL




WPAT Spanish Cont. New York, NY




WEPN Spanish Sports New York, NY


ESPN Deportes Radio


Source: Media Access Pro™, BIA/Kelsey, 2013


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