Traditional Media Companies Scoring More Digital Revenue

BY Kathy Crosett
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It’s easy to imagine that the tech giants have control of the digital advertising market. That’s simply not true, especially at the local level. Last year, traditional media companies generated $10.5 billion in revenue from their digital advertising efforts. 

Local Market Media Mix

The 2019 Benchmarking Local Media’s Digital Revenues report from Borrell Associates contains plenty of data to cheer about. Top level findings show how much digital ad revenue is being added to core revenue by major ad media formats. Below, the first numbers show revenue from traditional sources, while the additional digital revenue appears in parentheses:

  • Newspapers: $10.5 billion ($3.8 billion digital)
  • TV: $11.5 billion ($2.0 billion)
  • Radio: $9.1 billion ($0.9 billion)
  • Yellow pages: $4.2 billion ($1.8 billion)
  • Cable TV: $3.3 billion ($0.4 billion)

TV stations, on average, experienced a 21% increase in digital ad revenue last year. That figure amounts to over $1.7 million per station. Operators in smaller markets aren’t earning quite as much. However, the opportunity is present. Reps are having great success “due mostly to aggressive selling of audience-​extension advertising, which encompasses banners and video advertising,” according to Borrell Associates president Gordon Borrell.

The Local Opportunity

You may have more opportunity in your market than you realize. All too often, prospects will tell you they’re interested in digital advertising, but they don’t know how to get started. If you’ve been relying solely on existing clients to buy digital, you’re making a mistake. Borrell says, “the biggest growth in video advertising isn’t with TV customers; it’s with advertisers who’ve never bought TV before.”

The same advice applies to reps who sell other media formats. You might have a client that buys two or three digital media formats currently. They may not be interested in buying more digital, but they will listen to a proposal that explains why paid search will deliver a better ROI than banner ads. And they’ll shift around their digital ad budgets to try something new.

Digital media is no longer just a ‘read medium,’ warn Borrell analysts. The enhanced speeds of online communications mean that video can consistently deliver crisp effective messages for your clients. Whether it's video or a new mobile format, your clients and prospects may want to try it out. By next year, the local advertising market will be at least 50% digital. 

If your clients want to understand how their digital presence compares to their competitors, run a Digital Audit on them. This tool, available at AdMall from SalesFuel, will allow you to share key data points with them and develop a fresh campaign for the future.