BIA Advisory Services' U.S. Local Advertising forecast for 2022 predicts an increase in local radio ad revenue, with a total $12.7 billion split between over-the-air ($11.0 billion) and digital ($1.7 billion). BIA's extended forecast for 2026 puts OTA at $11.7 billion, moving up and down with the even political years, and digital at $2.4 billion.
“Radio is getting close to its pre-pandemic levels, as people continue to return to work commutes and traveling by car,” BIA Senior VP and Chief Economist Mark Fratrik says, “[although] it doesn’t get the same bump as [local broadcast] TV in political years.”
BIA’s report – which provides a nationwide overview of U.S. spending across all media, updated throughout the year to reflect current economic situations and to adjust ad spend across top media and business verticals – puts local radio's share of an estimated total $161.5 billion ad spend in 2022 at 7.9%, just behind local TV's 13% with a $21 billion spend. With TV, like radio, says Fratrik, “During even political years, it is very apparent that advertising revenue will rise and then dip the following year.”
The total projected adspend represents a 10.1% gain year-over-year, with traditional media revenue accounting for $84.6 billion (52.4%) and $76.8 billion for digital (47.6%). Google and Facebook are poised to rope more than half of digital spending – $26.8 billion for Google, $14.3 billion for Facebook.
BIA expects political advertising, during what will no doubt be a strong election season, to account for $7.5 billion, or 4.6% of that total.
The BIA forecast shows mobile's ad spend overtaking direct mail for the first time in 2022, the former at 21% with a projected $34 billion spend, and the latter 20.7% at $33.4 billion. Factors driving mobile's move to the top, according to BIA Managing Director Rick Ducey, are COVID’s impact on consumers' increased time spent with mobile and other digital media, digital’s overall momentum in winning more revenue share of media time from traditional media, and greater consumer acceptance and use of virtual and e-commerce channels. “For a long time, we’ve been talking about direct mail as the king of the share of wallet in local ad spending,” Ducey says. “This coming year, for the first time, we pass the crown over to mobile, as its momentum drives it to be the biggest overall piece of the spending wallet – and we expect that to continue in the foreseeable future.”