Now that the final numbers from 2010 have been counted and analyzed, research shops are able to establish just how much the ad market has recovered. Analysts can also tell marketers which channels are growing the fastest. And based on this data, we can generate accurate predictions about where 2011 is headed.

According to Kantar Media data, the total ad market for 2010 ended up at $131.1 billion which was a 6.5% increase over the previous year. In the 4th quarter, spending was even higher, coming in at 7% over 2009. And, in an especially important indicator, analysts say that much of the yea- end growth was “propelled by the long-tail of small advertisers outside the Top 1000.”

Sectors with the highest growth rates last year included:

  • Spot TV 24.2%
  • Spanish language TV 10.7%
  • National spot radio 18.6%
  • Internet display 9.9%
  • Outdoor 9.6%

However, not every media format saw ad growth. The channels faced with shrinking budgets include local newspapers (-4.6%) and B-to-B magazines (-1.2%).  It’s a safe bet that providers of this type of ad space are scrambling to boost their online offerings or looking to merge with operators which provide a more well-rounded media platform to marketers for 2011.

As media companies look for the best opportunities from marketers they should seek businesses operating in the top 10 ad categories. The top 3 spending marketers are in the following industries:

  • Automotive (manufacturers and dealers) $13 billion
  • Telecom $8.75 billion
  • Local services $7.99 billion
[Source: Kantar Media Reports U.S. Advertising Expenditures Increased 6.5 Percent In 2010. Kantarmedia.com. 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2011]