Where Does Radio Fit Into NYC’s Local Ad Spend?


Local advertising spending in New York City will exceed $11.5 billion in 2018, spread across TV, cable TV, direct mail, radio, mobile and nine other media.

But, where does over-the-air radio fall when compared to the four other commonly used media? According to research and consulting firm BIA Advisory Services, it is far from a $1 billion market.

As shown below, over-the-air radio local ad spend forecasts for 2018 put the medium at $769.7 million.

This makes radio the lone major local media type that falls below $1 billion — and puts Radio well below direct mail, the leader in New York.

Of the 12 media tracked in the firm’s forecast, the primary vertical expenditures in New York for 2018 are direct mail, at $2.9 billion; and both mobile and over-the-air TV, each coming in at $1.4 billion.

Online local ad spend is forecast to come in at $1.32 billion.

“As the No. 1 media market, New York demonstrates its diversity not only in the large ad spend it makes each year, but in the categories it comes from and the mediums it chooses,” said BIA SVP and Chief Economist Dr. Mark Fratrik.

Nevertheless, radio’s less-than-$1 billion status could further complicate efforts by such industry leaders as Entercom President/CEO David Field to rally Wall Street and other investors behind a medium that is still seeking a full renaissance following years of tepid and/or flat growth.

With podcasting a hot commodity, broadcast media companies may seek to grow by following the lead of Entercom and Cumulus Media through fuller investment in the arena.

“The fluctuating media landscape offers new opportunities for emerging digital solutions to capture more revenue dollars, and for some traditional media to both maintain their positions and strengthen their value to advertisers with multi-media offerings that are growing, and efforts such as programmatic selling,” Fratrik said.

By 2022, BIA estimates the New York market will grow to $12.98 billion; online and mobile will continue to increase their shares in the market. While categories like print newspapers and magazines will decrease, which is no surprise, the onus is on radio to not follow their lead.

The five leading vertical market categories in New York City in 2018 are automotive, education, financial/insurance, general services, and government/political/religious.

These five categories represent more than 30% of the ad revenue, with total local market dollars going across traditional and online/digital media.