Local Online Ads Grow to $24.5B in 2013

Borrell Associates has released its 2013 Local Advertising Outlook report. There’s a lot in the document. However for the purposes of this post the headline is: Local online advertising projected to grow 31% from $18.7 billion in 2012 to $24.5 billion in 2013.

Borrell estimated the total 2012 US local advertising market (online + offline) to be worth $89 billion (vs. $156.7 billion for national). The online component of that $245.7 billion market was roughly nearly $19 billion or 21%.

2012 US advertising by category

This year Borrell says that local advertising will be worth roughly $96.2 billion. The online component of that will grow to $24.5 billion, representing a 30.9% share of total online ad spending.

2013 US advertising by category
The chart below compares the projected local vs. national mix of both online and traditional advertising for 2013. Local will represent 39% of the value of the traditional market and 30% of digital.

Local online vs. offline spending

In 2012 Borrell estimated the entire online advertising market to be $67.2 billion. By contrast IAB online advertising numbers suggest that online revenues will come in at around $40 billion for the full year, 2012. The IAB doesn’t attempt to estimate or break out what percentage of that is national vs. local.

BIA’s numbers argue that local online “media” was worth $23.7 billion in 2012 (vs. $18.7 for Borrell) and will grow to $27 billion in 2013 (vs. $24.5 billion for Borrell). EMarketer estimated that total online advertising would grow from $39.5 billion last year to roughly $47 billion by the end of 2013.

Borrell’s forecast for 2013 has a range channels losing ground in national: newspapers, radio, local TV, direct mail, print directories and telemarketing. However in local only radio and “other print” will suffer in 2013; all other media will grow.

The biggest gainers in national for 2013 are projected to be online, cable and broadcast TV, outdoor and cinema. All media in the local category will grow in 2013, except local TV and “other print” according to Borrell. The largest percentage gainer in local for 2013 is cinema (traditional) followed by online.

What do you think of these numbers? Are they too large or not large enough? Do you believe that almost all traditional local media will rebound in 2013 including newspapers?

Let me know your thoughts.

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6 Responses to “Local Online Ads Grow to $24.5B in 2013”

  1. Plumbers says at

    Happy new year Greg!

    Seems that 2013 begins with the downward trend for print continuing.

    Do you feel that this will be the year that local digital advertising revenues will tip well over the 50% mark for all YP’s, and as a result print will be below 10% revenue within 18 months?

  2. Greg says at

    For most YP publishers in the US digital is 20% to 30% currently. For Pages Jaunes in France it’s the majority of revenue.

  3. Local Online Advertising to Grow 31% | Ghost of Midnight says at

    […] From Greg Sterling… […]

  4. Cardon says at


    I love your data-filled posts and can’t believe the growth of this market. I was going to dive into the Outlook Report but then saw the cost. I was curious if the report broke the local online ad spending to figure out who was spending what. 


  5. Greg Sterling says at

    When you say “who was spending what” . . . do you mean what kinds of ads businesses are buying or what types of businesses are buying digital? By vertical? that sort of thing? 

  6. Cardon says at

    Sorry, I should have clarified. Yea, I am just curious which industries within the SMB world are spending local online advertising dollars. Who are the biggest spenders? Who are the late adopters? Thanks for the follow up!

  7. Greg Sterling says at

    I’ll take a look. The YP (free) reports have some of this data, so do xAd’s and maybe the Verve report as well. See, e.g., http://searchengineland.com/report-highest-mobile-ctrs-where-user-1-2-miles-from-business-133245

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