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Local Radio Revenue Projected Up 16% This Year

BIA Advisory Services thinks it will continue to grow at a slower pace next year

Local radio revenue in the United States will increase 16% this year from its pandemic trough of 2020, and should continue to climb in 2022 though at a slower rate of about 6%. That’s according to projections from BIA Advisory Services.

The research company released this chart showing recent and projected local revenue from radio’s over-the-air and digital platforms.

After the obvious ditch in 2020, BIA thinks radio local ad revenue will edge up to $12.79 billion this year and $13.54 billion in 2022. That’s still shy of where it was in 2019.

BIA projects that the digital portion will be 16% next year compared to about 14% three years before.

More broadly, BIA increased its 2022 U.S. local ad forecast across media to $173.3 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $161.5 billion.

“The 2022 forecast indicates an 11.4 percent increase over 2021 due to faster than anticipated growth in digital advertising and a strong political year,” it said in its announcement.

SVP and Chief Economist Mark Fratrik called 2021 “a year of fluctuations,” with strong growth in the first half, then a stall when the Delta variant emerged. “We’ve taken pandemic concerns plus inflation and supply chain issues into account to prepare our local media estimates and, overall, we are bullish on ad revenue for 2022.”

Over-the-top (OTT) will grow about 57 percent this year, “surpassing the growth of mobile as consumers continue to embrace various streaming services on their TV screens.” Mobile, direct mail and PC/laptop continue as the top paid media channels for 2022.

Local television is slated to grow about 28 percent in 2022, boosted by political ads.

BIA also said political spending is expected to be “very large” next year.