BIA/Kelsey: Radio Lags As A Local Ad Choice


Total local advertising revenue in the U.S. is expected to reach $148.8 billion in 2017, up from $145.2 billion in 2016.

The key catalyst for the growth, says BIA/Kelsey: Faster growth in online/digital advertising revenue.

BIA/Kelsey estimates online/digital dollars will increase from $44.2 billion in 2016 to $50.2 billion in 2017.

Traditional advertising, which the research company defines as print and over-the-air media, is expected to decrease to $98.6 billion in 2017, from $101.1 billion in 2016.

The newly released data from BIA/Kelsey’s U.S. Local Advertising Forecast 2017 also shows online/digital dollars exceeding the share of print media for the first time in 2018.

BIA/Kelsey defines local advertising as all advertising platforms that provide access to local audiences for national, regional and local marketers.

“A range of factors will drive local ad revenues higher in 2017 and through the end of the next year,” said SVP/Chief Economist Mark Fratrik. These factors include expected improvements in the U.S. economy, increased spending by national brands in local media channels, “extraordinary growth in mobile and social advertising,” and the continued expansion and selection of online/digital advertising platforms.

BIA/Kelsey measures online/digital revenues as those generated by online companies that sell locally targeted advertising –including display, search and classified/vertical advertising. The advertisements are sold by local pure-play online companies, national online companies offering geo-targeted advertising, and local traditional media groups’ online/digital efforts.


BIA/Kelsey also breaks down the percentage of ad dollars it expects to be invested in local media in 2017, and radio’s share of the pie is 10.5%, when combining over-the-air radio (9.6%) with online radio (0.9%).

That’s behind Mobile (10.8%), Online/Interactive (12.5%), over-the-air and online television (20%), and Direct Mail (24.9%).


Meanwhile, BIA/Kelsey’s local advertising five-year forecast shows dollars growing to nearly $175 billion in 2021.