BIA: Local Ad Spend To Hit $174B In 2021

Look for local advertising spending in the U.S. to grow 3.8% annually to $174 billion in 2021, according to BIA/Kelsey's mid-year projections on the market. The new report adjusts downward its projection for this year to $147.9 billion because of softer-than-expected economy. It also predicts shift of share from traditional media to digital and mobile.


Between 2016 and 2021, local advertising spending in the U.S. will grow 3.8% annually to $174 billion, according to BIA/Kelsey’s mid-year projections on the market.

The compound annual growth “will be driven by double-digit increases in mobile and social advertising and local online and mobile video, all slated to experience at least a 17% increase by 2021,” the report says.

The report slightly decreases its original projection for 2017 to $147.9 billion because of an “overall weaker than expected economy” in the first part of the year.

During the five-year period, growth in online/digital advertising will grow at 11.9% annually, while advertising on traditional media like broadcasting will bump along with 0.6% growth.

“We are on the precipice of different advertising channels taking lead positions in the local advertising marketplace,” said Mark Fratrik, chief economist, BIA/Kelsey.

“Although national and local businesses still utilize a mix of digital and traditional advertising platforms, the opportunities afforded by mobile, social and video advertising are incredibly valuable due to their measurability, adoption by consumers and enhancements by technologies such as beacons and data attribution that blend extraordinarily well with today’s mobile consumer.” 


The top five recipient of the local ad spend in 2017:

  • Direct Mail: $37.1 billion (25% share)
  • Local TV: $20.9 billion (14% share)
  • Online / Interactive: $18.6 billion (11% share)
  • Newspapers: $16 billion (11% share)
  • Mobile: $16 billion (11% share)
  • #6 – Local Radio: $15.6 billion (10% share)

“Mobile has replaced radio in the top five media this year, but the dominant player continues to be direct mail,” said Fratrik.

Comments (13)

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Cheryl Thorne says:

July 12, 2017 at 8:09 am

Local TV is in deep trouble!! They were a 20%+ share 5 years ago.Bt 2021 they will be below 10%

    kendra campbell says:

    July 12, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Local TV news: Insane commercial glut is like putting up a sign saying “don’t waste your time here.”

    Keith ONeal says:

    July 12, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Pigs eventually get slaughetered.

Jayson Siler says:

July 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

Low single digit market growth means it’s basically a “zero sum” game now. Local TV and Newspapers are prime targets for online platforms, paid search and FB in particular. Getting more “credit for the sale” should be the #1 priority for any local TV or newspaper sales operation!

Dan Levitt says:

July 12, 2017 at 10:09 am

Local TV vs. Local Radio AND Newspaper doesn’t look right. aside from Direct Mail whether 15.6 Billion or 20.9 Billion all that other media seems to be a dead heat, doesn’t make sense

Patrick Burns says:

July 12, 2017 at 10:17 am

I agree partially.. Is the info based on a algorithm or real submitted blindly sales ( hard ) figures.

The statisticians got it pretty wrong on the voters last fall so how can this report be sanguine enough to be useful.

My sales are nicely trending up due to the better economy and low gas prices !!!

TV & Radio & Local cable sellers need to ask the direct question to retailers, WHAT DID YOU SELL OFF FACEBOOK LAST WEEK ??

You will get a dull thud response !!! It is buying a fad & cute idea that has NO NO NO legs !!!

Cheryl Thorne says:

July 12, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Catskills ..Go watch the movie “other Peoples Money”..And you’ll see why local tv is in trouble. They are still selling the best darn Buggy whip (commercials) when others are selling new platforms..It’s that simple..They are in trouble!!

Patrick Burns says:

July 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

They are in a challenging time and should rise to the occasion
I have run heavy 10 day 5 K bliztes on Faceless Book with top video and clients get 2 comments from relatives . Absolutely nada retail action. When I burn thru 5 K on my TV or cable inserts , the businesses get serious sales bump.

The Facebooks of the world are a SOCIAL media. When people spend serious money on furniture, cars or vacations they
remember the heavy emotional media like TV & radio. We may be old Media but we are proven and measured every month or qtr !!!

Do you buy a car or vacation soley on water cooler social media , I bet not.

Bottom line Facebook has a huge PR dept planting stories all day & night and the mass media fall over their BS releases. The
C Suite people are figuring it out & like P & G holding back money.

It will begin to turn , mark my old shriveled hands !!!

    kendra campbell says:

    July 12, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Anyone in 2017 making big ticket buying decisions based on TV commercials is not playing with a full deck. Internet, Google, forums, etc – certainly not a 30 second commercial, inside a 3 minute commercial break, inside a 30 minute program with 11+ minutes of clutter.

    Debra Rein says:

    July 12, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    We use that to sell all the time. Simple question, they never have a positive answer. Nobody is walking into their show room or calling them because they saw their face on FB or Google or extended reach. They are coming by and saying they saw them on TV. It matters and still the reason a huge percentage of local buy goes to TV. We have a harder time explaining to clients why they aren’t seeing results with digital advertising. That is our largest challenge these days, keeping digital clients on digital. We have digital budgets too. It’s easy to get them on, harder to keep them on. Our churn for digital advertising runs about 45% annually. It doesn’t work. This will play out over the years and clients will realize they need a small digital budget. Small compared to what they think now.

Snead Hearn says:

July 12, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Change is difficult but TV continues to work and even though digital is all about the future it is not yet time to completely leave TV because it still works and customers see results. Yes there are too many commercials, and too many breaks, etc.

Cheryl Thorne says:

July 12, 2017 at 8:11 pm

Catskills..Poor Catskills. If you think that Facebook revenue is what I am talking about when I talk about digital..Well God bless you..You should change your nickname to yesterdaysnews…Smart advertisers are using 10 to 20 different digital advertising plans..ever heard of Targeting or Retargeting..Cmon ..get with the program..

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