TV adspend growth stalls and forecast to shrink in 2017

Growth in TV adspend almost ground to a halt last year, new industry figures show, as the total UK market slowed to 3.7% growth, to £21.37bn.

TV adspend growth stalls and forecast to shrink in 2017

The latest Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report shows TV grew 0.2% last year to £5.28bn, which tallies with commercial broadcasters' figures provided by Thinkbox in February.

Growth was significantly down on 2015, when the TV market grew 7.3% in 2015, according to the previous AA/Warc report, which had also forecasted 5.1% growth for TV in 2016.

Almost all TV advertising is comprised of spots, which shrank in 2016 by 0.5%, compared to 6.7% growth the year before. Broadcaster VoD spend grew by 13% last year, compared to 21% in 2015.

Today’s report forecasts TV adspend to shrink 0.5% in 2017. This comes after last month’s report by ITV that annual ad revenues had fallen for the first time since 2009.

The total adspend growth rate of 3.7% is half of the growth rate recorded in 2015 of 7.5%, while TV’s share of overall spend has held steady at 25% over the past decade.

Growth in UK adspend held steady in Q3 after the Brexit referendum in June, before reaching £5.8bn in the fourth quarter of 2016, a rise of 3.9% year-on-year and the highest grossing quarter on record.

In real terms, after accounting for inflation, UK adspend topped its pre-recession peak for the first time during both the final quarter and for 2016 as a whole. Forecasts for the next two years indicate continued growth of 2.5% in 2017 and 3.3% in 2018.

Digital formats continued to grow in 2016, with internet adspend up by 13.4% to £10.3bn, with mobile accounting for 99% of that growth. Mobile spend reached £3.9bn, with 86% of the current value of the mobile advertising market generated in just the past five years.

Digital accounted for 38% of the £1.1bn out of home advertising market in 2016, double the share digital recorded in 2012, while revenues from online ads were up for national newsbrands (+4.9% to £230m) for the fifth year running.

Cinema recorded 8% annual growth to £257m, while radio grew 5.4% to £646m in 2016. 

Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association, said: "Advertising has proved resilient to uncertainty and behind these numbers is a cutting edge, digital business in which Britain is a world-beater.

"As we work towards Brexit, we’re urging Government to support UK advertising and do more to unlock its potential to grow UK plc." 

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