Legal Services Ad Dollars On The Rise At Radio With Lots Of Room To Grow Share.


Legal services advertisers will pour nearly $400 million into radio this year, with both over the air and digital platforms seeing healthy increases. Over the air is once again poised to capture the lion’s share of radio spending with $298.3 million in ad legal services billings, up 6.3% from $280.8 million in 2021, according to BIA’s U.S. Ad Forecast 2022, issued in June 2022.


But it is radio’s digital assets that are on track to experience the largest year-over year growth. What BIA classifies as Radio Digital is forecast to surge 19.8% to $82.5 million from $68.8 million in 2021. That includes streaming and website ads sold by local stations and pureplay streaming services, plus the share retained by local radio stations after reselling other online platforms.


Radio’s legal services advertising grand total comes to $380,828,000 for 2022, or about $31 million more than in 2021.


Research studies conducted by MARU/Matchbox show both personal injury and family law firm advertising drive significant brand equity when AM/FM radio is used.


Across all media channels tracked by BIA, legal services in 2022 will increase ad spend to $8.4 billion, up 11.1% from 2021 and up 18.4% from $7.1 billion in the pre-pandemic year of 2019.


In pre-pandemic 2019, traditional media accounted for two of every three local ad dollars spent by legal services businesses. During the pandemic, however, these advertisers began shifting their ad dollars to digital channels.


Digital media channels’ share of wallet is forecast to grow from 33.8% in 2019 to 47.8% in 2023, with search and display on mobile and desktop getting the biggest increases in ad dollars, BIA says in its newly released Legal Services Vertical – Insights into the U.S. Local Ad Marketplace 2022 report. Mobile will continue to increase its share of the legal services ad pie, growing from 14.5% in 2019 to 20.8% in 2022. PC/Laptop will grow from a 6.4% share in 2019 to 9.3% in 2022.


Chasing The Law


The BIA numbers suggest that radio captures only 5% of legal services ad dollars. The latest spot count tally from Media Monitors shows just two of the top national accounts are in the legal services category:Morgan and Morgan at No. 57 with 10,824 spot occurrences and Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at No. 100 with 5,732. A recent Radio Advertising Bureau webinar focused on how broadcasters can grow their share of the burgeoning category by targeting local personal injury lawyers, while also adhering to important legal safeguards.

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