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Mobile Supplants Radio in Top 5 for Local Ad Revenues

Direct mail remains atop the mountain

In a list of U.S. media categories that attract local ad revenue, radio has surrendered a top-five spot to mobile. But direct mail remains king of the hill.

These data points appear in a midyear report of BIA/Kelsey’s “U.S. Local Advertising Forecast.” The report attempts a national overview of total U.S. spending in local markets and includes individual forecast breakouts for various media that also include directories, local magazines, local video, newspapers, online/interactive, out-of-home video and social.

The top five local ad contributors in 2017 per the report are direct mail at $37.1 billion; local TV at $20.9 billion; online/interactive at $18.6 billion; and newspapers and mobile, both contributing $16 billion. Radio is expected to contribute $15.6 billion but has fallen out of BIA/Kelsey’s top five, bumpted by mobile.

Other notable information in the report: BIA/Kelsey decreased its overall advertising estimate for the local media marketplace in 2017 to $147.9 billion, citing an overall weaker economy in the beginning of the year that led to softness in advertising revenue.

However, future growth is looking stronger than predicted earlier; the organization expects that the marketplace will reach $174 billion by 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 3.8 percent. Reasons include expected increases in mobile and social advertising as well as local online and mobile video. And what about the outlook for radio? Mark Fratrik of BIA/Kelsey tells Radio World that local over-the-air radio revenue growth will average between 0.5% and 1.2% each year, while online is in the high single digits, 8% to 9%.

The full report is offered by BIA/Kelsey.