The ongoing Covid-19 crisis and the subsequent decline in advertising investment has hit Ireland’s digital publishers, despite record traffic to many news sites, according to a survey carried out by IAB Ireland
Participants in the IAB Ireland survey included adtech companies, agencies, digital service providers, networks, platforms and publishers and the survey was carried out between April 16th-20th.
The survey found that some 68% of all respondents have experienced a significant decrease in advertising revenue since the Covid-19 restrictions began. Another 29% have experienced a moderate decrease in revenue, with just 2% reporting moderate growth.
Because of this decline, 82% of respondents have implemented some form of cut backs, including a reduction in staff, temporary lay-offs, reduced working hours and pay-cuts. The survey shows that 39% of respondents have introduced introducing salary reductions while 23% have introduced shortened working hours and/or enforced annual leave.
The outlook for the remainder of the year was somewhat mixed with 73% of respondents predicting that the digital advertising market will rebound between Q3 and Q4 2020- 49% predict a rebound in Q4 vs 24% in Q3.
Advertiser and agency participants in the survey, meanwhile, predicted a 10%-20% decrease in planned digital advertising spend in 2020 as a consequence of the pandemic.
The survey also noted that 30% of advertiser/agencies plan to reactivate their digital adspend before lockdown restrictions are lifted, according to the IAB Ireland survey while another 30% will reactivate once these restrictions are lifted. A further 35% are currently working on new campaigns.
“The digital advertising industry like all sectors of our economy has been adversely impacted by COVID-19. A third of advertisers/agency members report pandemic related business challenges as their most significant barrier to advertising,” says Suzanne McElligott, CEO of IAB Ireland.
“However the lockdown has also dramatically increased digital consumption with local publishers reporting an average growth of 49% in unique users over recent weeks. As we work from home and observe social distancing, usage of all digital platforms has increased as we increasingly rely on digital technology for business and social communication,” she says.
“Advertising experts from leading practitioners, researchers, and academics are reminding brands of the value of continuing advertising during challenging times such as this. Brands that maintained advertising during previous recessions experienced a positive impact on their sales and market share as a consequence (Binet and Field). We are working very closely with our members, representing all the key stakeholders in the industry to understand their business challenges and to share the best strategies to reactivate spend and protect the Irish digital advertising industry,” she concludes.