US Political Advertising Dominates 2024 Projections: A Deep Dive into Local Media Ad Spend

In the realm of local media advertising, the year 2023 could be described as rather stagnant. However, the horizon seems brighter in 2024, as BIA Advisory Services unveils a forecast that paints a vivid picture of change and growth. According to their insights, local media advertising is set to surge by 8.6%, reaching a substantial $175.6 billion in 2024. This impressive uptick is primarily due to the influence of political advertising, though the scenario shifts when we cast aside the political ads. Excluding them, the growth is a more modest 2.2%, amounting to $164.6 billion.

The driving force behind this divergence lies in non-political advertising, which is expected to experience some restraints. Worries about a potential economic downturn loom large on the horizon, casting shadows over this sector. Furthermore, the digital advertising sphere is slowing down, and it has taken some of the sheen off the overall growth.

Intriguingly, tech giants like Meta and Alphabet (Google) have played a role in this narrative. Their repeated revisions of advertising revenue expectations throughout 2023 have had a ripple effect. Nicole Ovadia, the Vice President of Forecasting and Analysis at BIA Advisory Services, explains that these revisions influenced the tracking of digital ad spending across 96 business categories.

Diving deeper into the numbers, digital media's share in the ad spend pie is projected at $84.1 billion, making up 48% of the total media spend. This share has dipped slightly from 49% in the current year. Traditional media, on the other hand, is on the rise, reaching $91.5 billion and gaining a percentage point in share, capturing 52% of the total.

Notably, the star of the show remains connected TV, showcasing the most rapid growth rate at a staggering 39.5% in 2024. Over-the-air (OTA) TV, while still the largest local video category in terms of dollar spend, is on an upward trajectory with a 30% growth projection, largely driven by political influences.

Digital TV isn't far behind, with a growth forecast of 24.3%, while cable TV is expected to experience a 19.7% growth. Out-of-home media also enters the growth party with a forecast of 9.4%.

When it come to specific categories, political advertising steals the spotlight, projecting an astounding surge of 2028%. Noteworthy sectors experiencing substantial growth encompass special restaurants and food and beverage stores at 17.2%, as well as realtors at 16.7%. Conversely, some categories anticipate a decline, notably in veterinary services (-15.8%), online gambling (-15.3%), and funeral homes and services (-14.4%).

In this dynamic space of media advertising, 2024 promises to be a year of transformation, where political influence, economic concerns, and digital trends converge to shape the industry's destiny.

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