Radio Booted From BIA Kelsey’s Top 5


And the medium now taking in more ad revenue than radio is….Mobile. That’s according to BIA Kelsey’s midyear update to its Local Advertising Forecast. For 2017, the firm has decreased its advertising estimate to $147.9 billion, down from $148.8 billion forecast in October of 2016. The lighter revenue projection is due to an overall weaker-than-expected economy in the beginning of 2017, which has led to softness in advertising revenues. Here’s how radio stacks up against the other media.

According to the forecast, radio will be pushed out of the top five by mobile. The top five media (revenues and share of market) contributing to the local media pie in 2017 are: 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). Local Radio is 6th with $15.6 billion

BIA is projecting that ad revenue will hit $174 billion by 2021, driven by double-digit increases in mobile, social and local online, and mobile video, all projected to experience at least a 17 percent increase by 2021.

The BIA/Kelsey U.S. Local Advertising Forecast is a five-year forecast that delivers a national overview of total U.S. spending in local markets and includes individual forecast breakouts for direct mail, local video, online/interactive (i.e. local search and local display), newspapers, mobile, radio, out-of-home/OOH video, directories, social and local, and magazines. BIA/Kelsey defines local advertising as all advertising platforms that provide access to local audiences for national, regional, and local marketers.


  1. Notice the rocketing ascent of mobile – ubiquitous (just like radio), measures sales results for advertisers (NOT like radio).

    I had one of North America’s celebrated VPs of Sales and major market DOS tell me that pushing for radio to be held accountable for sale results is too… polarizing… a mindset.

    Is prospering advertisers, and ergo, media sellers, too polarizing? Multiple systems/strategies/tools are there for every advertiser, but we’re not using them as an industry. I’m not talking about just using mobile as part of your digital marketing arsenal. I’m talking about the systems and strategies that have been around for years that deliver documented advertiser sales results in the millions in small markets and hundreds of millions in major markets.

    Why aren’t more of us doing so for every advertiser? What will it take to get others off their blessed assurance and take action and put radio in its rightful revenue place as the pre-need, pre-search, pre-purchase catalyst of consumer activity to capture more ad dollars?

    Please share your answers to help all of us in the industry – radio can grow by leaps and bounds – when it’s done right.


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