Traditional Ad Market Doing Better than Expected

BY Kathy Crosett
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It’s not every day that analysts revise their projections up for media buying in traditional advertising formats. That's what happened this week. Michael Nathanson, media analyst at MoffettNathanson, sees reason for optimism in 2019. Here are the details.

Revised 2019 Projections

Earlier this year, MoffettNathanson's analysts believed the overall U.S. ad market would increase about 5.4%. With the year nearly half over, analysts now say that market could grow as much as 5.8%. Using ad tracking data, analysts pointed to strong performances in a few traditional sectors during the first quarter:

  • Local TV +1.9%
  • Outdoor +5.8%
  • Radio +0.7%

Local broadcast TV revenue will likely amount to $20.9 billion, while local cable TV operators should bring in $5 billion in ad money. And the radio industry ad revenue will total $16.5 billion in 2019. These numbers are all lower than the 2018 spending levels, which include cyclical revenue from political campaigns and the Olympics.

There’s no denying that growth in digital advertising is driving the overall market increase. But the digital sector appears to be undergoing some changes. Previous forecasts anticipated a 22.2% increase in digital ad buying this year. MoffettNathanson’s revised forecast puts that growth rate at 21.5%.

Local Ad Market Optimism for 2020

Next year looks good for local media sales in traditional formats with projections pegged at:

  • Local TV +10.1%
  • Local Cable +6.3%
  • Outdoor +2%

The impact of political ad spending and the Olympics will make a significant difference at the local level. The overall ad market will probably experience an increase of 9.5% next year. 

It’s not too early to start talking with managers of political campaigns and hot-​button issues in your local market. To learn about the media formats that sway various types of voters, check out the AudienceSCAN profiles available at AdMall from SalesFuel.