BIA/Kelsey: U.S. Local Media Ad Revenues To Reach $158.6B In 2018
April 28, 2014

In its newly released U.S. Local Media Forecast (2013-2018), BIA/Kelsey, adviser to companies in the local media industry, forecasts local media advertising revenues to climb from $133.2 billion in 2013 to $158.6 billion in 2018, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6 percent. Digital media continues to increase its share of total local media revenues, growing from $31.7 billion (23 percent) in 2014 to $52.7 billion (33.2 percent) in 2018.

"While the U.S. economy is not expected to grow very quickly over the next few years, we estimate the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018," said Mark Fratrik, SVP/Chief Economist for BIA/Kelsey. "Based on positive trends in the overall local media marketplace, such as faster growth in online and mobile advertising, and the fact that national and local advertisers were slightly more aggressive in their advertising expenditures in 2013 than originally thought, we are optimistic on the entire industry's ability to grow advertising revenues.”

BIA/Kelsey expects revenue from traditional media, in aggregate, to slightly increase from $105.3 billion in 2013 to $105.9 billion in 2018 (CAGR: 0.1 percent). As expected, the political ad spend cycle contributes to a drop in revenues in odd-numbered years. Despite the year-over-year political advertising seesaw effect, traditional media revenues remain remarkably steady throughout the forecast period.

Of note for the radio industry, BIA/Kelsey says that radio advertising accounted for 11.1 percent of the total $133.2 billion spent in 2013 (direct mail, newspapers, and TV led the category). The primary sources of revenue for local radio in 2013 were Automobile Dealers ($1.438 billion), wireless telecommunications ($650.8 million), and full-service restaurants ($647.8 million). Based on changes in the overall local media marketplace, BIA/Kelsey estimates that the overall local media market will grow faster than previously thought through 2018. By 2018 the total will be $158.6 billion, of which $16.7 billion – or 10.5 percent – will go to local radio.

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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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