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Propelled By Political, U.S. Ad Market To Jump 8.6% To $175.6 Billion.

Fueled by an influx of billions in political ad dollars, total media revenue in the U.S. will climb 8.6% to $175.6 billion in 2024, according to BIA Advisory Services. With concerns about an economic downturn still reverberating, along with overall lower ad spending, the firm’s just-released 2024 U.S. Local Advertising Forecast calls for a more modest 2.2% increase to $164.6 billion when a projected $11 billion in political ad sales is excluded from the forecast.

With spending for the 2024 election cycle already far ahead of where it was four years ago, political spending will dominate the ad market next year. “Even in markets that are not highly contested there will be a large amount of political advertising,” BIA’s VP of Forecasting & Analysis Nicole Ovadia says. “Local political advertising will be fueled by the Presidential and Senate campaigns as well as issue-based advertising,” she says.

But set aside the mountains of incoming political cash and the BIA number crunchers expect “only a slight increase in ad spending, due to both global and local economic trends that may create more cautious spending,” Ovadia says.

BIA’s local forecast continues to show traditional media with a slight lead over digital in local media investment for 2024. The latest split has traditional capturing 52% of the local ad pie or $91.5 billion. This includes cable TV, over-the-air TV, over-the air radio, direct mail, print newspapers, magazines, and directories, and out of home. Digital is poised to receive 48% or $84.1 billion, divided up among OTT/CTV, TV digital, radio digital, PC/laptop, mobile, email, and digital ad revenues from newspaper, magazines, and directories.

Here's how BIA stacks up the top five growth channels for 2024:

  • CTV/OTT (+39.5%)

  • TV OTA (+30.0%)

  • TV Digital (+24.3%)

  • Cable TV (+19.7%)

  • Out-of-Home (+9.4%)

Category Deck Shuffle

While political will dwarf other verticals in 2024 with a whopping 2028% year-over-year surge, it won’t be the only category to post spending gains in 2024. “One category to keep an eye on is realtors looking to advertise to drum up demand,” Ovadia says. Realtors are projected to boost spending 16.7%. Another hot growth category is special restaurants, food & beverage stores, poised on track to up spending by 17.2%.

Meanwhile, categories that experienced growth during the pandemic are waning. Veterinary services, for example, are projected to drop 15.8%. And the ad blitz that accompanied more states legalizing online gambling this year is about to subside. “We expect this sector to reduce its local ad spending and move towards national/network advertising going forward,” Ovadia says. That’s why BIA is calling for sportsbooks to reduce local ad spend 15.3% in 2024. And for reasons not explained, funeral homes & services are projected to reduce their advertising by 14.4%.

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