align=leftFive years ago, print was sitting pretty. Newspapers and magazines were pulling a market share of more than 41 percent, nearly four percent more than television. But that picture is changing.
align=leftTelevision now boasts the biggest share of the market while radio and print lag behind with outdoor and the internet slowly creeping up behind them.
align=left”The whole boom the media enjoyed in 2005 is definitelygoing down,” says Janet Proudfoot, AIS director at TheNielsen Company. “Although, some sectors Ã¢Â€Â“ mainly TV Ã¢Â€Â“ are showing healthy increases.”
align=left!_LT_STRONGTelevision vs Print!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftTelevision pipped print to the post for the first time in 2007, taking 39.9 percent of the market share as opposed to print’s 39.7 percent, according to data provided by NielsenMedia Research.
align=leftHowever, many a print advocate will argue that Nielsen does not measure classified ads, job or recruitment and property advertising – and if it were to do so, it would find print once again taking the top spot for advertising spend.
align=left”Classified ads are charged per word and act almost like an advertorial for a consumer and not really an advertiser or brand. So although it is revenue generated by newspapers it is not likened to classic advertising. We do read a bigger ad which has been strategically placed in the Classified section,” explains Proudfoot.
align=left”Similarly we do not read job or recruitment advertising unless it is the recruitment agent advertising themselves. Nor do we read property ads unless the estate or property agent is advertising themselves either directly or through a new estate or development such as Zimbali. We now do read financial notices, tenders and government notices which we didn’t before.”
align=leftShe acknowledges that print would be bigger than TV if all of the above were measured – but says the decline in print advertising spend remains the trend.
align=left”Yes, by adding all of these in we would find that print is bigger than TV. However, up until this last year it was marginally bigger than TV (excluding self-promotion). For the first time we see print at 39.7 percent share of market and TV 39.9 percent… TV is increasing at a much bigger rate than print.”
align=leftAs much as print complains about not being measured completely, Proudfoot says neither are all adverts on television, such as product placements or sponsorships, measured by Nielsen Media Research.
align=leftWhy is television continuing to make gains while print is taking a back seat? There are many factors that come into play, but Proudfoot says newspapers, magazines and even radio need to step up their self-promotion.
align=left”Advertising spend attraction is related to the audience.
align=leftThe bigger the audience, the more you sell.
align=left”TV channels are promoting themselves more and more and keeping their eye on the ball… tracking what their audiences respond well to, promoting their products and offerings and moving with what the market is looking for.
align=left”Radio is not doing that at all and print tends to be quite slow-moving too.”
align=left!_LT_STRONGMagazines vs Newspapers!_LT_/STRONG
align=leftMagazines are also declining in share of print versus newspapers. Growth in magazine adspend stood at nearly 18.48 percent in 2004 with newspapers at 18.52 percent.
align=leftThe magazine growth could not be sustained and dropped to 12.57 percent in 2006 while newspapers maintained a growth of over 18 percent (see graphs). Between October 2006 and September 2007, magazines attracted R2.59-billion in advertising spend as opposed to newspapers’ R6.4-billion.
align=leftMagazines remain a luxury item and further increases in inflation and interest rates will see readers spending less on glossies, says Proudfoot. Furthermore, the arrival of four new pay-TV channels might see consumers spending an extra R100 a month on television but buying fewer magazines.
align=leftRadio has been losing market share constantly over the last five years, dropping from 14.8 percent in 2003 to 12.2 percent last year.
align=leftThe reason for the decline? Many might say it has to do with the offerings of new technology – with radio listening in the traffic specifically affected by the arrival of iPods, for instance.
align=leftBut Proudfoot believes the slow-down is largely due to bad management at the SABC radio stations, which make up the bulk of radio in South Africa.
align=left”It is just a lack of focus on radio and you see it in the numbers. It is very sad because it is such a strong medium.”
align=leftMuch has been said about the slow roll-out of broadband in South Africa but advertising spend on the internet has nevertheless increased constantly over the past five years
align=left”There is a definite trend upwards for the internet but it is off a fairly small base which won’t really skew the total advertising spend,” says Proudfoot.
align=leftOutdoor’s market spend has grown year-on-year and should settle down at between six and seven percent of the market share, says Proudfoot.
align=leftCurrently, it takes about five percent of total adspend, but many smaller outdoor outfits are not being measured. What the future holds The most movement will be in television as four new pay channels are expected to hit the market before the end of the year.
align=leftThis will fragment the advertising market even further and affect the established channels, where there have already been a number of changes over the past months.
align=leftFor the first time, free-to-air channel e.tv overtook the SABC channels as the top advertising attraction at the end of 2007, says Proudfoot.
align=leftMeanwhile DStv launched several new channels to compete with the new arrivals. Proudfoot does not expect Telkom Media, On Digital Media, E.Sat and WOW TV to affect DStv margins dramatically in the first year.
align=left”DStv has reacted strongly and I think it is tough for the newcomers. Inflation is running away with us and people do not have much disposable income.
align=left”The biggest affect might be seen in magazines. Maybe consumers will buy a new TV package but then they will cut down on magazines. People are really pinched for what they’ve got. This year is going to be a shocker.”
align=leftÃ¢Â–Â This article first appeared in !_LT_EMThe Media!_LT_/EM magazine.