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Digital Audio Will Be One Of 2023’s Fastest Growing Local Ad Segments Says Borrell.

Despite most podcast advertising coming from national brands, more Main Street advertisers are considering digital audio ads. Borrell Associates forecasts local digital audio advertising will grow 10.4% to $1.24 billion in 2023 with only streaming video growing at a more rapid pace.

Digital audio will benefit from a spending tailwind. “When we look at local advertising and where dollars are being spent and we just put it in two buckets – digital and non-digital – seven out of every $10 is now spent somewhere digitally,” said Corey Elliott, Borrell’s Executive VP of Local Market Intelligence. That is a sea change from 2016 when 45% of local media ad spend went to digital and 55% to non-digital.

Borrell Associates forecasts local advertising will climb 3.2% next year. “I think there's slightly greater optimism than there was maybe a month ago about the economy,” CEO Gordon Borrell said on a webinar.

The firm predicts digital advertising will climb 7.7% while traditional media spending is forecast to fall 5.9%, largely due to a factor of a big decline in local television spending in a year without an election to pour advertising onto the airwaves. Among traditional media, radio is forecast to have one of the smallest year-over-year ad declines, down two percent in 2023.

Helping to create a local market opportunity during the past few years is the creation of millions of new businesses. The federal government says there were nearly 5.4 million applications filed to form new businesses during 2021, which is the most of any year on record. As managers finalize their 2023 budgets, Borrell says that shows the most promise for the coming year.

“If your business is tied to businesses that buy advertising, you should absolutely be looking at that as you're doing your forecast,” Borrell said. Speaking on the firm’s Local Marketing Trends Podcast, he said the challenge for sales reps will be sniffing them out. “There's probably a lot more business available to media companies and agencies as potential clients than they're actually saying because they haven't really popped their head up yet because they're not really advertising. They're invisible. They're not on billboards, they're not on TV, they might be doing some targeted advertising that you don't even see so it’s good to know that they're out there,” he said.

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