NEW YORK—The newly released S&P Global Market Intelligence Radio & TV Annual Outlook is projecting healthy growth this year for the U.S. broadcast station industry, with ad revenue for TV and radio stations expected to reach $36.47 billion in 2022, up 12.9% from $32.31 billion in 2021.
The 2022 S&P projection breaks down to $24.15 billion from TV stations — including core national and local spot, political and digital/online — and $12.32 billion from radio stations, which includes national and local spot and digital, excluding network and off-air.
The report is forecasting, however, that TV station ad revenue will be virtually flat between now and 2027, with increases occurring in political years.
The report also noted that core advertising categories have mostly bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, with the exception of the automotive, retail and travel categories, which are still soft. The local ad market has been stronger than the national side of the spot ad business for many station owners.
Other key highlights include:
- Over the five-year projection period 2022-2027, political advertising will be spent disproportionately on local stations in swing-state markets.
- Spending in the 2022 midterm elections, spurred by the 50/50 split between the two parties in the U.S. Senate and Republicans looking to gain a majority in the House along with major gubernatorial races in swing states, is expected to reach $3.49 billion, up 15.0% from the last midterm elections in 2018.
- Radio's lower ad cost, local audience and relatively high return on investment compared to other media will keep it relevant, although digital investments point to future growth opportunities with the spot ad market for radio expected to decline over the forecast period.
- Radio station owners are continuing to invest in streaming, podcast and digital marketing initiatives, with digital revenues expected to rise to $1.73 billion by the end of 2027.
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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