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Forecast: U.S. Ad Spend Expected To Increase 8.2%, With Radio/Audio Up 6.4% In 2024.


A just-released report from PQ Media forecasts a better 2024 for ad spend, with an 8.2% increase for the U.S., outpacing a global 7.7% rise. For the U.S., that's more than double its 3.7% increase in spend for 2023.


According to PQ, total ad spend for radio/audio – including terrestrial/over-the-air, satellite, streaming audio stations and networks, and sponsored events and promotions – is expected to grow from $17.7 billion in 2023, when spend was up just 1.7% from the prior year, to $18.9 billion in 2024 for a 6.4% increase. With the overall U.S. ad spend up from $645 billion to $698 billion, radio/audio maintains a 2.7% share of the total.


The estimated gains in PQ's report reflects higher hopes for the economy as inflation and recession fears have subsided, record media spend related to the Paris Summer Olympics, and an expected boost in political ad spend. “The intensifying political division in the U.S. has led to record fundraising growth over the past decade, supercharging political media buying,” the report says, as it forecasts spend to hit nearly $14 billion in 2024, nearly doubling the $7 billion spent in 2016.


“Early 2024 pacing data shows that brands continue to increase their budgets, as more consumers are shopping at brick- and-mortar stores, driving more miles in automobiles and attending events after years of being sequestered by the pandemic,” PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn says. “If the 2024 Super Bowl audience is an indication of consumer viewing habits, we believe brands will spend top dollar to be included in the over-the-air, digital and streaming coverage of the Paris Summer Olympics as well.”


The report shows the U.S. remained the world’s largest media market in 2023, ranking seventh in ad spend growth. According to PQ, last year's increase was driven by double-digit gains in digital and alternative platforms, including smart tech marketing, streaming video, podcasting, digital out-of-home media, influencer marketing and experiential marketing. Even so, growth rates both in the U.S. and globally were at their lowest point since 2015, as inflation was at its highest rate in more than 40 years.

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