Spotting the patterns in global media spend

The patterns in the way that brands invest in media have been set for 2012. By the time we hit October/November, the vast bulk of the year’s money will have been committed.
So what can we learn from 2012 that might help us plan or anticipate changes in 2013?
In the US we can see that while TV and digital have grown during 2012 other media have not been so robust. Press and magazines, in particular, have been hit.
But it’s not a one-way street even for digital. While spend on social has risen, it may now be hitting a peak thanks to the structure of these platforms. Advertisers need to be able to compare Facebook, Twitter and other platforms and there will ultimately be limits to how much they will invest in the current closed platforms.
On TV, the old adage that established shows do better than all but the best new ones continues to hold true. CBS’s success in the States this year is testament to that but in Europe as audiences fragment, programmes that simply stand still in the ratings may actually profit commercially.
The general environment in the US is more positive than Europe, where spend has been tight ever since the Olympics (and the US has benefited from lots of election dollars).
Despite this the TV market could be tight, not because of increased demand but because so many European broadcasters have remarkable ratings shortfalls to make up. Many ad slots in early 2013 will be committed to keeping previous promises rather than actually earning revenue. That could drive inflation.
Sports continue to gain in prominence and the CPM between sports and other programmes will continue to widen. In the US, particularly when it comes to the NFL, prices will continue to rise. We are seeing reports of a $4m spot at the Superbowl, whether these prices are paid or not merely illustrates that sports is the last lighthouse in the TV landscape.
The online video market has adopted a clear structure in the US but remains less developed in EMEA. IN the US, three clear tiers have emerged: first the TV broadcaster/catch up sites, second the video aggregators like Hulu and YouTube, and finally the video ad networks.
Eighty percent of the market has adopted this structure with the video aggregators growing revenue fastest. The situation in Europe remains more confused with different models still proliferating.
The outlook for key regions remains mixed. The US feels more positive and encouraging while Europe remains uncertain. Even Asia which has been a driver of global ad spend for years feels more uncertain as decision makers watch the slowdown and try to anticipate which way the market will move.

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