With the Irish economy outperforming its European peer group in 2015, with similar growth forecasted for 2016, Core Media is forecasting that the Irish media market will grow by around 9.9% in 2016. This compares with the 7.8% increase that was achieved in 2015.
The 9.9% increase this year will bring total investment to €915m which is still some way off the €1.2bn that was achieved in 2007 according to Core Media’s annual outlook report which can be accessed HERE.
All of the key media categories will benefit from the anticipated increase in advertising investment, according to Core Media. The largest single category will be digital which is expected to hit a record €304.4m. TV will be the next largest with and ad spend expected to rise to €244.8m for the year. It is followed by newspapers and magazines, with an anticipated spend of around €164.5m while radio is expected to see an increase in spend to €124.3m.
Elsewhere, out-of-home is expected to rise to around €68.8m while cinema spend is likely to increase to around €7.7m. With video-on-demand (VOD)on the increase and attracting more and more attention from advertisers, Core Media estimates that around €23.7m will be spent on VOD this year. Elsewhere, it is forecasting that the Irish sponsorship market will increase to around €132.4m.
While the overall market will improve in 2016, Alan Cox, CEO of Core Media, says it still faces some stiff challenges in key areas like data, the growing use of VOD, how publishers are remunerated for content and the need for greater measurability in the sponsorship arena.
“When we talk about so-called Big Data, we are really talking about predictive analytics. It is a vital part of business today, but is being massively under-invested in by marketers and their agencies. Predictive analytics is the use of data and statistical algorithms to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data,” says Cox.
“Never before has there been such an opportunity to understand consumers, from the direct data we collect to the latent information we can infer from their behaviours,” he says.
In relation to linear TV viewing and the rise of other video platforms like Netflix and YouTube, Cox says that there is a need for combined TV and online video research.
“TV viewing is still enormous, with the average viewer now watching over three and a half hours of content on their TV sets every day. However, recent research from our research company Ignite, shows that children are now watching more video online than on TV, proving the point that online video is easier to access than ever before. Interestingly, YouTube now commands 35 minutes of adult media consumption per day, making it the second most viewed video channel in Ireland behind RTE1. All of this brings into sharp focus the need for combined TV and online video research. Both forms of video consumption are separately researched. We urgently need a research solution that jointly measures these platforms, but it is fraught with technical difficulties,” adds Cox.
While news brands and magazines can expect to see a modest upturn in their fortunes this year, he says that the “age-old problem of charging for online content is still causing consternation among publishers everywhere,” he says.
“Quality journalism does not come cheaply; the key to its survival is the monetisation of content in tandem with advertising support,” he adds.
With digital becoming the largest single category of ad spend in 2015, he says that Core Media expects this to grow to €500m over the coming years, or approximately 40% of total advertising spend.
With sponsorship also gaining more attention from marketers and their budgets, Cox says the big issue for the industry remains the lack of robust measurement and dearth of performance related data. “This is a failing on all sides, but return on investment (ROI) must be the remit of the sponsor. Without doubt, the rights holder should provide performance data of its own, but real ROI is matched to business objectives and only a sponsor can measure this effectively,” he concludes.