The advertising market in 2014 experienced its first growth since 2007, and advertisers and media owners are continuing their efforts to achieve overall growth of about 6 per cent. While most product sectors are increasing investment for the calendar year, big events such as the Rugby World Cup are also injecting life.
Although Irish print owners are increasing their advertising income, new obstacles are emerging. Online publishers are now challenging the biggest media groups in terms of online traffic, particularly through mobile. Genuine cross-platform solutions have become a prerequisite for advertisers.
The commercial performance of regional youth radio station groups has grown significantly this year. National stations are still in moderate growth, aided by listenership, which, specifically among the under 35s, has marginally increased. Audiences have a special relationship with radio, which compares favourably with print and TV in terms of the time people spend engaging with it.
Outdoor, a medium that has benefited more than most in 2015, has changed markedly in recent years. Media owners have reduced their plant to improve the overall offering available, while introducing new formats. The digital rail network that Exterion Media has built is – along with JCDecaux’s Première roadside and digital retail offerings – providing inventory far superior to what was available in the past decade.
Those in TV land have been vocal about the sluggish performance of our newest broadcaster, UTV Ireland. Much of this has been overplayed but its emergence has triggered an increase in home-produced programming. TV3, most notably, has invested beyond pre-existing levels. The longevity of such programming remains to be seen. RTÉ has always dominated programming so the fact that its performance has not accelerated recently will not be a cause for immediate concern. However, TV3’s recent takeover by Liberty Global and ITV’s takeover of UTV in Ireland could escalate the battle for viewers.
Advertisers have shifted from maintenance to growth, underpinned by the wealth of media choice and opportunity. The increase in consumers’ disposable income has resulted in a valiant fight among advertisers for an increased slice of that cash.
Chris Cashen is account director at Carat Ireland