Forecast: Local ad spending on Web & mobile to overtake newspapers by 2013

NetNewsCheck | Borrell Associates

Local advertisers will spend more on digital ads than in newspapers by 2013, and soon after the ad market will rapidly shift to mobile devices, according to the latest forecast from Borrell Associates. First the bad news for print: Local online ad spending is expected to rise 18 percent to $18.5 billion in 2012, on pace to pass newspaper spending by the following year. The good news is the total amount of local advertising will grow 5 percent in 2012, and traditional local media companies are capturing about half of all locally spent online advertising.

Even those with strong website advertising models should prepare for disruption in the next few years, as mobile ads will rapidly overtake desktop ads in local digital advertising.

From the report's executive summary:

By 2013 the proliferation of mobile devices — combined with local advertisers’ budding affair with mobile couponing, text messaging, social media and apps — is likely to cause a precipitous decline in ads served up on desktop computers. We’re forecasting that 88% of all local online advertising will be viewed on tablets, smart phones or GPS− enabled laptops by 2016.

Borrell Associates forecasts local digital advertising will keep growing rapidly, but most of it will move to mobile ads instead of desktop Web ads.

Related: Ad spending loses steam as U.S. economy sputters | Analyst: Big Media earnings to “decelerate sharply” in 2013 || Earlier: Local advertisers plan to spend more on social, mobile, less on print

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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