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Forecast: Podcasting And Streaming Audio Are Among 2022’s Top Growth Media.

Borrell is calling for another healthy increase in ad spending by local businesses for 2022. The firm’s new market-level local advertising report forecasts local businesses will increase spending yet again in 2022, by 6.4%, to $138.9 billion. That comes after a projected 9.9% increase in 2021 to $130.5 billion – the strongest since the recovery period after the Great Recession. The 2022 growth projection is also nearly two points higher than the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for local advertising over the past five years and comes on the heels of an anticipated 9.9% increase this year.

“Because COVID recovery varies by state and by market, not every market will participate in the bliss,” said Corey Elliott, Borrell’s Executive VP of Market Intelligence and its key forecaster. “Some markets have been devastated by business closings, which depresses advertising. Other markets have rolled along without much of a hiccup and have even seen some significant growth in new business creation.”

In addition, a market’s rate of bounce-back in 2021 will dictate the level of “normalcy” it may experience next year, Elliott said. “Simply put, some areas built back faster in 2021 and thus will see modest growth in 2022, while others still are recovering this year and will see more explosive growth in 2022.”

In crunching the numbers for hundreds of U.S. markets, Borrell says a top takeaway is that local advertising continues to be “a very healthy sector.”

Money spent by the nation’s estimated 18 million local businesses has swollen, especially for digital media.

Big Boost For Digital Audio

With a projected 17.8% increase, streaming audio/podcasting is among the channels poised for the largest growth in 2022. That follows a 24.7% boost in 2021 over pandemic-plagued 2020. And it is second only to streaming video/OTT, which is on track to jump 18.5% to $21.3 billion in 2022, more than twice as large as broadcast TV advertising. The growth for streaming audio/podcasting in local advertising next year will out-perform both targeted banner advertising (12.6%) and broadcast TV (12.3%).

The new local forecast shows radio recovering nicely in 2021 with a 23.7% rebound over 2020. However radio is among five media forecast to see declines in 2022, with Borrell predicting a 4.6% dip. Others expected to see lower local ad spend in 2022 are print directories (-11.4%), newspapers (-6.0%), magazines and other print (-7.5%), and untargeted banner advertising (-4.6%).

Elliott said the pandemic has fueled a new trajectory for spending on things like paid search, social media, and streaming video. “SMBs were spending an average of 57% of their budgets on digital advertising prior to the pandemic,” he said. “They hunkered down in 2020 and 2021 and put a lot more into bottom-of-the-funnel marketing to drive business. As a result, we’re now seeing 65% of their budgets going to digital media and forecasting that it will reach 67% next year.”

Despite strong increases in 2021, Borrell data show nine of 17 different types of media advertising will not attain the level they saw in 2019: cable TV, outdoor and cinema, all forms of print media, radio, and untargeted banner advertising. Local TV is the only traditional media that will see 2022 spending levels exceed that of 2019.

Borrell’s data is different from some other forecasters because it is derived from expenditures by local businesses, not revenue from media companies. Its 2022 Local Advertising Forecast for hundreds of markets is expected to be released Wednesday with a webinar planned for 11am ET on Tuesday, Oct. 12. Register HERE.

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