Local advertising forecast 2022: mobile advertising will outperform direct mail

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CHANTILLY, Virginia.—BIA Advisory Services predicts a strong local US advertising market in 2022, growing 10.1% to $ 161.5 billion, as mobile ad spend surpasses direct mail for the first time.

The new forecasts for the entire US local advertising market follow the publication at the end of September of the BIA forecasts for local television in 2022. This release predicted that local television would reach $ 19.3 billion in OTA advertising and $ 1.7 billion in digital in 2022.; a sign of a $ 21 billion strong industry that offers its audience to political activists, the BIA said.

In BIA’s US Local Advertising Forecast 2022 released on October 13, the overall US local advertising market is expected to reach $ 161.5 billion, a 10.1% year-over-year rebound, supported by generally strong favorable economic winds in 2021.

Forecasts indicate that traditional media revenues will be $ 84.6 billion with digital media following close behind at $ 76.8. BIA also predicts that $ 7.5 billion of the sum will come from political advertising during a strong election season.

“For a long time, we’ve talked about direct mail as the king of the wallet’s share of local ad spend,” said Rick Ducey, managing director of BIA Advisory Services. “This coming year, for the first time, we are moving the crown to mobile, as its momentum makes it the biggest chunk of the overall spending portfolio – and we expect that to continue for the foreseeable future.”

BIA puts mobile spend at 21% of the 2022 forecast and direct mail at 20.7%, but the gap between the two will continue to widen, BIA said.

Overall, digital ad spend will hit $ 76.8 billion, with Google and Facebook controlling more than half of the spend. Google takes the lion’s share at $ 26.8 billion, compared to Facebook’s $ 14.3 billion, BIA reported.

Ducey highlights four reasons why mobile has become the number one advertising medium: (1) the impact of COVID on increasing the time consumers spend with mobile and other digital media, making digital the place ideal for finding and targeting consumers; (2) the overall digital momentum to gain more media time revenue share from traditional media; (3) the rise of virtual consumption channels like delivery, curbside pickup and e-commerce in major categories like retail, restaurants, CPGs or physical channels like store visits decrease; and (4) greater consumer acceptance and use of virtual channels and e-commerce.

Mark Fratrik, senior vice president and chief economist of BIA, added that the company’s local advertising forecast in the United States also projects an increase in local radio advertising revenue in 2022.

Radio is expected to generate $ 12.7 billion divided between airwaves ($ 11.0 billion) and digital ($ 1.7 billion). By 2026, digital radio revenue is expected to reach $ 2.4 billion, while OTA fluctuates with even political years and ends at $ 11.7 billion in 2026.

“Radio does not fare as well as local television, and it does not have the same bump as television during the political years,” said Fratrik. “But it is approaching its pre-pandemic levels as people continue to return to work, commute to work and travel by car.”

“I like to call our data on local television our ‘piano key charts’ because even during political years it’s very evident that ad revenue will rise and then fall the following year,” Fratrik added.


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