Small and medium sized businesses will not be shy with advertising dollars, with local media reaping the windfall across all platforms, according to a soon-to-be-published industry forecast.

In a preview of its annual local media forecast, marketing consultancy BIA Kelsey said it anticipates that spending by small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) will top out at $50.4 billion The U.S. Local Media Forecast 2015 also predicts SMB’s spending $37.7 billion on traditional local media (broadcast television, cable, radio and print), and $12.4 billion on digital advertising.

SMB spending would represent 35.9 percent of total local media spending, according to the forecast. The $50.4 billion SMB spend will be on par with that of the large national brands. Larger local brands are forecast to spend another $39.8 billion in local media buys.

BIA Kelsey’s five-year forecast predicts SMB local media spending will increase to $59.7 billion by 2019. It shows double-digit local ad spending growth for business segments of all sizes during the forecast period. SMBs and national brands are expected to experience an 18 percent increase in local media buys between 2015 and 2019.

In total, local media spending is expected to increase from $140.7 billion in 2015 to $163.4 billion in 2019.

The consulting firm’s forecast is usually published in the spring, but has been delayed to late September this year to coincide with the marketing conference it sponsors. This year’s conference will take place Sept. 22-24 in New Orleans.

Mark Fratnik, BIA Kelsey chief economist, said release of the forecast was also delayed to align with the business planning cycle.

“Our clients have told us this information is most valuable at the very beginning of the fall when they are initiating their budget planning for the upcoming year,” Fratnik said in a press release. “The five-year forecast will feature an emphasis on the upcoming year to give companies the information they need most, when they need it.”


SMB Spending on Local Media to Exceed $50 Billion in 2015; BIA Kelsey. September 3, 2014.