World Media 2006: Spain

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 31 March 2006 12:00AM

Adspend is growing at 10 per cent a year, a host of new freesheets is proving popular among young Spaniards and multichannel TV is growing vigorously - but ad clutter on television is rife.

Business is booming in Spain: the economy grew three times faster than the European average last year and confidence has never been higher.

That is not to say there aren't any clouds on the domestic horizon. Unemployment, for instance, may be falling but, at more than 10 per cent, it is still comparatively high. Managing that situation, while also staying within the narrow fiscal guidelines demanded of all Euro zone members by the European Central Bank, is always likely to be problematic for a socialist prime minister.

There is also the simmering issue of devolution. The Basque separatists may be the most vociferous (and murderous) in their demands for more devolved power but other regions have their aspirations too, and juggling diversity will continue to be a theme for Spanish governments for the foreseeable future.

This also represents a challenge for Spain's marketing community but it is one it will continue to relish as long as adspend growth stays in the region of 10 per cent a year.

With all that money pouring in, Spain's media market continues to be one of the most dynamic - if chaotic - in Western Europe. And the story is not just about electronic media: newspapers are back in fashion thanks to the launch of a new wave of Metro-style freesheets, which have been tempting younger readers into acquiring a newspaper habit.

But Spaniards love their television above all else and multichannel TV has been growing vigorously. The dominant force here is the pay-TV operator Sogecable, which has also started competing for mainstream commercial TV revenues via Cuatro, a channel launched last year.

Advertisers have welcomed its arrival because demand for airtime continues to race well ahead of supply in Spain - despite the fact that broadcasters are more than willing to maximise their inventory.

This is one of the least regulated (and, therefore, the most cluttered) TV airtime markets in Europe - not only do commercial breaks often extend to 15 minutes in duration but product placement (of the crudest kind) is also rife.

The only broadcaster unable to climb aboard the gravy train has been the once-dominant state-owned broadcaster, Televisiona Espana, which has been losing audience share to its more aggressive rivals.

ADVERTISING EXPENDITURE USdollars million at current prices. All years based on US$1= EUR0.8. *Estimated Total TV Newspapers Magazines Radio 1994 4,248 1,587 1,466 572 396 1995 4,392 1,644 1,504 579 430 1996 4,546 1,718 1,550 587 447 1997 4,830 1,848 1,633 620 468 1998 5,393 2,151 1,777 654 511 1999 6,269 2,609 1,901 839 579 2000 7,028 2,871 2,102 913 623 2001 6,794 2,673 1,980 909 608 2002 6,738 2,714 1,903 866 603 2003 6,922 2,879 1,859 875 631 2004 7,644 3,325 1,969 961 671 2005 8,178 3,691 2,047 980 705 2006* 8,609 3,953 2,119 1,010 736 2007* 9,065 4,233 2,193 1,040 766 2008* 9,552 4,534 2,270 1,071 797 Total Outdoor Online Cinema 1994 4,248 192 0 35 1995 4,392 199 0 36 1996 4,546 207 0 37 1997 4,830 222 0 40 1998 5,393 246 6 47 1999 6,269 270 19 53 2000 7,028 382 66 69 2001 6,794 505 64 55 2002 6,738 508 89 56 2003 6,922 525 93 59 2004 7,644 550 117 51 2005 8,178 563 140 51 2006* 8,609 575 165 52 2007* 9,065 586 194 52 2008* 9,552 598 229 53 Adspend notes 1) After discounts. 2) Excludes agency commission. 3) Excludes production costs. 4) Excludes classified advertising. FACTFILE Highest circulating titles - Newspaper: El Pais (daily, 462,000 copies) - Business magazine: Emprendedores (monthly, 71,000 copies) - Consumer magazine: Pronto (weekly, 1,002,000 copies) Top TV shows - Most watched TV programme (2004): Spanish Cup Final football preview - Best new TV format: Cash in a Cab - a gameshow in a taxi Major measurement tools - Circulation: Oficina de Justificacion de la Difusion - Readership: The Audience Media Research Association conducts the General Media Study - TV viewing: TNS Main media owners - Newspapers: Sogecable - Magazines: Recoletos Grupo de Comunicacion SA - Television: RTVE (public), Mediaset, Canal+

THE LOWDOWN

Media topic du jour: Just how long can the growth in TV advertising clutter continue?

Reigning media guru and why: Fernando Rodes Vila, the chief executive of the country's dominant media agency, Media Planning Group.

Media mogul to be seen dining with: Paolo Vasile, the chief executive of Telecinco, for his feisty, no-nonsense, "show me the money" approach to broadcasting.

Car to drive: Audi A3 disguised as a Seat Leon.

Phone to carry: Nokia 6233.

Whatever you do, don't say: Maybe it's time to send our peacekeeping force back to Iraq.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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