A LOOK AHEAD TO H2 2018
Whilst Brexit has defined the economic backdrop for the past two years and the continuing rhetoric of uncertainty has remained omnipresent, the advertising market has shown considerable resilience. As we head into H2, we are forecasting total market growth of 4.8% for the year. Whilst performance oriented digital investment will largely drive this, we are still seeing growth in traditional media. We expect television broadcast revenues to increase by 2% as advertisers continue to realise the long and short-term value of the media and the power of mass audience quality content. Whilst 2017 brought brand safety to the forefront of advertisers’ attention, this has certainly remained widely publicised throughout 2018, albeit superseded in the global headlines by data breaches and the subsequent highlighting to consumers of how their information can be used. This of course being even more relevant as we approach May 25th when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), takes effect. Therefore, whilst we see continued growth in digital investment it is fair to say that in return, media owners will deliver on improved 3rd party verification, accountability, and better controls for advertisers in order to ensure the safety of their brand. Whilst significant work has been done, we continue that journey on 2018.
With the backdrop of digital growth, we are also seeing a far more collaborative approach being taken by the traditional media owners to promote their own media. For example, the Big TV festival which took place in February, hosted jointly by Sky, ITV and C4, highlighted the best the medium has to offer and the combined commission in research to support Broadcaster VoD (see: Thinkbox BVOD is Prime Real Estate).
In the publishing market, whilst traditional revenues continue to decline, print brands have had to rapidly evolve both their digital offering and measurement which the industry has embraced collectively utilising its combined scale. Firstly, we saw the full launch of PAMCo’s (Audience Measurement for Publishers) tool in April and the successor to NRS specifically built for audience measurement in a digital world allowing advertisers to understand true reach across multiple platforms. Secondly the Verified Marketplace which is a collaboration between the Newsbrand publishing giants News UK, Guardian News & Media and The Telegraph Media Group created a premium publishers’ marketplace for stream video ad inventory and a potential audience of over 39.4M million unique users.
In summary, the market remains strong and whilst only touching on a few specifics here, change within the industry continues at an unprecedented pace as advertisers call for more accountability, measurement, agility, and application of data with media owners across the board evolving to meet those challenges.