Local digital ad revenues to rise higher (and higher…)

By David Weinfeld 

Cue the music. Open the floodgates. Strap on the jetpack. Keep your seatbelt tightly fastened as we continue our ascent.

Local digital ad revenues are poised to explode. “Tell me something I don’t know…” is very well the thought that is going through your head. Media prophets have been shepharding stories of giant local digital ad buys for a few years now. What I bring you to support the foreshadowing is a new research report from BIA/Kelsey that includes some eye-popping numbers.

Yes, these reports do need to be taken with a grain of salt. You could probably exhaust days recounting similar research documents that were proven incorrect over time. So if you want to approach these figures with skepticism, that is fine by me. It never hurts, though, to know what industry analysts are projecting. Who knows, maybe you will come to share some of their optimism.

As detailed in the BIA/Kelsey forecast released on March 9, digital advertising revenue for local TV and radio will outpace overall ad spending for those media between 2009 and 2014. Digital revenue from multiplatform, mobile and Web, will grow at a 17.8 percent compound annual rate to $2 billion compared to total ad revenue, which will grow at a CAGR of 2.8 percent to $34.3 billion.

By 2014, local TV digital ad revenue will reach $1.2 billion and represent 6.5 percent of TV’s total $18.3 billion in revenue, up from 3.1 percent in 2009. Radio digital revenue will reach $0.8 billion representing 5 percent of radio’s $16 billion up from 2.9 percent in 2009.

“Broadcasters must evolve to participate in more areas of the media ecosystem,” said Rick Ducey, chief strategy officer for BIA/Kelsey. “This means developing the right multiplatform and multiple revenue stream strategies which in turn requires new workflow, partnerships, business models and resources.”