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Local Is Bouncing Back

July 29, 2021

Here’s another great sign that the local economy is returning! BIA Advisory Services is one of the foremost firms on tracking and forecasting advertising expenditures. On July 22, they revised their estimate for local advertising dollars for 2021 to $142.4 billion dollars. That is an increase of $4.8 billion or 3.5% higher than they had predicted in November 2020.

More dollars flowing into local advertising means more demand across the board. Traditional local advertising remains larger than digital outlets, but the difference is only slight. Of the revised $4.8 billion in added revenue, two-thirds ($3.2 billion) will go to digital while one-third ($1.6 billion) of the increase will go to traditional media.

The report predicts a dip in local TV revenue, which is now projected at $16.2 billion. Conversely, local radio is set to climb to $11.7 billion in 2021, growing to $12.3 billion in 2022. Nearly one billion of that radio revenue is attributed to digital.

  • $940 million in 2021
  • $1.04 billion in 2022

Looking farther out, BIA projects local ad revenue to climb to:

  • $157.1 billion in 2022 – 10.3% increase from 2021
  • $162.1 billion in 2023 – 3.2% increase from 2022

So what does this all mean? After suffering from nearly no demand for local advertising in 2020, the demand from advertisers is back strong. Radio is showing strong growth, which should be encouraging to sales people and upper management. While the news is positive, the report makes it clear that broadcasters need to have good digital offerings, as that is where the biggest growth will occur.

By combining broadcast radio with strong digital options, broadcasters can take advantage of this projected growth to boost both their top and bottom line.

To quote Timbuk 3, “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.”

Need help taking advantage of this opportunity? Reach out to the Ratings Experts at Research Director, Inc. here.

-Charlie Sislen, Partner