By Angelica “Angie” Balderas – SVP Entravision Sacramento Stockton and Modesto
The pandemic hit the Spanish radio industry probably harder than any other traditional media. Stay-at-home ordinances and remote work mandates eliminated the daily commute and as a result in-car radio listening and ad revenue plummeted during the early months of the global Covid-19 2020 shutdown.
Eighteen months into the pandemic and Spanish radio listening is back to pre-pandemic levels and advertising is surging across the country. The extraordinary resilience of the radio industry in general, which has been proclaimed a dying media for the last 20 years, continues to deliver a high quality product, desirable audiences and advertiser results.
Great crises like we experienced with the pandemic certainly have residual challenges, but they also create new opportunities.
Government ad spending at all levels stepped up to educate the public and leaned heavily on Spanish radio to deliver the message thus creating small windfalls in new ad revenue.
Auto dealers challenged by chip shortages and inventory made adjustments to the operations and discovered a whole new level of profitability by focusing on used cars, lease returns and enhancing their service department offerings.
Restaurants, which were devastated by mandated shutdowns, reinvented themselves with take-out specials, delivery app alliances, creative cocktails-to-go and also expanded their outdoor dining capabilities.
As our communities reopened, employers large and small have flocked to Spanish radio to fill needed positions. Our desirable and growing audience responds to high frequency radio schedules.
Moving into 2022, Spanish radio will continue to benefit from the return of the entertainment/concert business, leisure, travel, theme parks and casino industries – all which are core advertisers to many of our stations.
Spanish radio emerges from the pandemic more resolute than ever about our mission. We’ve proven again that marketing, especially in a crisis, requires a need for creative and nimble solutions that must accelerate adaptability to new circumstances.
One of the biggest takeaways I have experienced are some of the most honest conversations with local clients who lost a lot during the pandemic shutdowns and are more determined than ever to rebuild. I truly believe our relationships have become stronger because of it. At the end of the day we are in this partnership together.
This is what Spanish radio does. This is what Spanish radio has always been.