• Thursday, July 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Analysts project growth in press audience, see TV as key ad medium

businessday-icon

Global trends and outlook for various media platforms have been assessed by different analysts as they see the press gaining in audience growth due to evolution in the ecosystem, which has transformed print to digital and to mobile while TV will remain key advertising medium as mobile continues to influence lives.

Press

For press, Zoe Bale, senior business partner at Carat, said in her write up in Campaignlive.co.UK that the evolution of publishers’ ecosystems from print to digital to mobile had generated a growth in audiences and, consequently, an array of new opportunities.

According to her, the rise of digital has enabled publishers to increase their global dominance and scale. “In 2014, Mail Online, which attracts 193 million monthly unique browsers across its international network, saw its US site overtake that of the UK. Its Australian proposition, which only launched at the beginning of last year, now attracts 8.3 million monthly unique browsers – just over a third of the country’s population.”

The Guardian’s website also topped 100 million monthly browsers for the first time in March and has transformed from the second-smallest national newspaper in the UK into the third-biggest news brand in the world, she said.

“The past few years have been tough for publishers and undoubtedly there will be further casualties, just like any other industry. But I believe publishers are entering a golden era as they move away from being publishing houses to become global news and entertainment content providers”.

The industry has historically been cut-throat. However, 2014 saw a definite softening and a shift towards collaboration for the greater good of the sector.

She said a lot of these changes are being driven by tech developments, with publishers now not just competing for media budgets against each other but also the likes of Microsoft, Facebook and Google. With programmatic buying becoming the norm, in order to compete publishers need to deliver not only mass audiences but also specific audience segments.

“Hopefully, this is the start of things to come and we will see similar partnerships between other publishers that potentially extend to global audiences. If this happens, we could witness the beginning of a shift in power in digital advertising in 2015.”

According to him, the continued decline of print circulations and pressures on advertising revenue mean publishers have to diversify and experiment with other forms of earned revenue.

In 2015, events will become a hugely prominent part of the conversation about the sustainability of journalism. While it is a small part of overall revenue at the moment, it is actually a very important part that will see much investment and – if handled properly – success this year, she said.

Television

Discussing television also on the Campaign website, Chris Allen, the head of vision at Havas Media, said television remained, and will remain, the core brand-building medium for the foreseeable future. Advertiser and agency confidence in TV is buoyant, supported by a plethora of studies

The TV advertising market in 2015 is forecast to grow 3 percent – 7 percent, depending on the source and what is included in the figures, such as broadcaster video-on-demand and sponsorship revenues.

Meanwhile, he said UK consumers have never had it so good, with more opportunities to watch exceptional content across multiple connected devices. Viewing habits are catching up with the pace of technological development and, in turn, more ad opportunities are emerging, he said.

According to him, technological advances, as well as increased connectivity of devices and more widely distributed content, are leading to not only an enhanced viewer experience but also smarter advertising opportunities – for example, addressability via broadcaster and customer data sets.

“Before we look at 2015, let’s take stock for a minute. Yes, TV is more expensive than it was in 2013 but, in real terms, the cost of TV advertising has fallen steadily over the past decade and is now at 2008 levels. So, in a world where the cost of a “basket” of goods and services increased by more than 50 per cent in some instances in the same period, TV still represents exceptional value for what is, in my opinion, an infinitely higher-quality product than it was ten – or even five – years ago.”

“People will forever want the live viewing experience, and social media has reinforced this. Research proves that TV remains the medium that people want to spend most of their time with and the most effective for advertisers.”

Allen affirmed that advertising spend on TV will rise in 2015, and one will need to focus on the audience that is most important and who will drive business value and results. Advertisers and agencies need to identify what they are getting out of TV advertising.

Mobile

In his assessment of mobile in the same Campaign UK website, James Kirkham, the global head of social and mobile at Leo Burnett Group, started his discussion that mobile will stop being a thing.

“Eventually, there will be no distinction between the future of networking technology and the future of mobile devices. Two become one. Inseparable and impossible to split. Mobile is everything and mobile is everywhere,” he said.

According to him, it is the single most vital entry point to the real world and all human information that has ever been collated. He said three billion people on this planet use the internet, and two billion of these access it from their phones. Internet and mobile are one. Social and mobile are one. To continue to split and syphon off mobile is naïve.

Through such ubiquity comes complete disappearance. As technology envelopes everyone and everything, it becomes invisible. People once discussed the use of electricity to light a room. No more. It disappears. So the word smartphone will start slowly disappearing too.

Children will never talk about online – because, to them, they’re never offline. Their world has always been blended, information anywhere accessed in a moment and entirely on demand.

He said mobile is too big to be a thing any more. “If we’re looking to the very near future, the year ahead, then we should view it with this context in our heads. Start seeing communications opportunity as a way to bridge these gaps, and help orientate us towards an exciting future with a world transformed and unrecognisable from when we were children.”