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The depressed results are already having an affect on music publishing, with the current malaise making terrestrial stations even more reluctant to pay recording performance royalties.
RADIO REVENUES PLUMMET
Broadcasting Industry Suffers 18% Decline, Affects Publishing Revenues
U.S.-based terrestrial radio stations suffered a 20% decline in revenue to $16 billion, according to data released by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

Of that total, calculated from various revenue-generators, including on-air, off-air and digital, local stations experienced a 20% decline to $10.8 billion, and national stations slipped 19% to $2.4 billion.

Digital advertising remains a positive, up 13% to $480 million. RAB chief Jeff Haley insisted the news wasn't all bad, with a second-half upturn that could continue into 2010.

"In 2009, radio went from negative 25% in May to flat in December," he said, which could mean this year will mark a turnaround.

The trend includes a continuing shift towards portable media players, mobile devices and online models like Pandora and Last.fm.  That also includes station-controlled websites and apps, and the resulting gains from digital.

In fact, Pandora announced revenues of more than $50 million in 2009, according to CEO Tim Westergren.  "We've been able to grow our audience to attract advertisers and do so without going bankrupt," he told CNNMoney.com.

Last September, Westergren projected annualized revenues of $40 million, and just last month, the CEO noted that Pandora had reached profitability during the fourth quarter.  "We've gone out of business many times, so it definitely wasn't a smooth path, but we're starting to realize the benefits of scale."

Still, licensing costs remain incredibly high, with a royalty overhead of $30 million during 2009. 

The depressed results are already having an affect on music publishing, with the current malaise making terrestrial stations even more reluctant to pay recording performance royalties.

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