The new Media Inflation Watch (MIW) data has been released on to Media Manager and completes the data set for 2012 with Q4 October to December being included.
“Understanding the trends for all media in comparison to MIW results from previous years is difficult due to SAARF having instituted changes in technological methodologies in 2012. Television, out of home (OOH) and radio audiences have been rebased following the LSM unbundling and population/weighting changes to audience data. This has resulted in those media having no comparable audience data,” says Ingrid Louw, CEO of PDMSA.
Cross channel comparison of January to December 2012 MIW data is misleading as performance readings for television (TAMS), radio (RAMS) and cinema is not included, resulting in their MIW Index only reflecting rate changes. Media Inflation for print is accurate as ABC methodology has not changed, and MIW print data for 2012 can be compared with previous periods. But, in order to make a fair comparison of print with the other channels, we recommend the use of the Rate Inflation data (RI).
“It is evident that audience changes in radio, TV and cinema mediums have taken place but one cannot calculate the extent with any degree of confidence. Users are urged to study the quarterly figures so as to get a sense of direction and act accordingly,” says Mike Leahy from MIW.
The MIW figures for the newly released Q4 2012 can be compared with the MIW for Q3 2012, across channels. Accurate annual media inflation rates will, however, only be possible again once Q3 2013 has been released. This does not apply to cinema as Cinemark stopped supplying monthly audience figures from June 2011, so MIW for cinema from Q1 2012 uses only rate cards and the performance index is set at zero indefinitely.
The totals for all media reveal that rates are up 3.98%, performance is down -1.87% and the overall MIW Index is up 6.29%. Rates indicate a significant slackening over previous periods and overall 2012 has yielded the lowest RI since the analysis started back in 1986. It is the first time the RI has dipped beneath 4% (albeit only just). This has been attributed largely to a slowdown in the growth of television’s rates.
The print media category has experienced little change since the last release.
All media Rate Index is 4% for January to December 2012. Daily newspapers come in at an average of 5%, weekly newspapers at 4% and local newspapers at 8%. On the magazine front, business to business magazines come in at 7% and consumer magazines at 5%.
MIW data is still the best guide to inflation rates available, but it is best considered after a deeper understanding of the technical changes that affected 2012 MIW Index.