Media and marketing executives have predicted only moderate growth for 2013, with spend on free-to-air (FTA) television set to be boosted by the federal election.
FTA TV was highlighted as the medium set to gain the most from this year’s election in the Starcom MediaVest Group’s Media Futures report.
The election will boost TV revenues according to 67% of executives while automotive was also forecast as a best performing category for TV by 62% of the report’s respondents.
“We’re heading into a new Federal election cycle in 2013 and we expect this will have a positive effect, especially on FTA TV advertising,” John Sintras, chairman of Starcom MediaVest Group, said.
But it is the broadcast of major sporting events and the masses of eyeballs they attract that will really fill the network’s coffers.
“With Nine and Fox Sports paying a record price for NRL rights, and with the AFL being ever popular around the country, it’s no surprise that sports will be what drives TV revenue in 2013.”
FTA TV was the most frequently used advertising medium in 2012 and the preference is set to continue with 85% of marketers indicating they will use TV again this year.
Retail, finance and telecommunications are other categories which are likely to increase TV spend however FMCG and food brands are expected to “substantially” decrease spend.
Media executives proved more pessimistic than marketers when it came to overall growth.
Advertisers predicted a 1.7% rise in budgets for the year compared to the media industry’s 1.2% prediction.
“As I’ve said before, this very marginal growth is the ‘new normal’ and it’s a continuation of a trend that we’ve seen for the past few years,” Sintras said.
Digital is the area most likely to buck the ‘moderate’ trend with online search, display and mobile due to experience substantial growth.
Mobile internet was described as “the big growth medium” with 32% of marketers due to use it this year compared to 25% in 2012.
Print publishing will be the hardest hit sector with a 3.2% drop forecast for newspapers and a 2.5% slide for magazines.
Out-of-home is not expected to have a rosy year with the sector predicted to endure a 2.9% drop.
“Online media across all platforms continues to outperform the more established channels in terms of revenue growth,” Sintras said.
“The availability and quality of performance data, allowing real-time optimisation and industry leading ROI evaluation will only see this trend continue.”
Almost three quarters of marketers said they used public relations last year and anticipate that they will continue to use PR this year.
Budget contractions are in store for catalogues, unaddressed direct mail, exhibitions and branded content according to the report.
Starcom will revisit the survey later this year to compare the above expectations with actually spend for the first half of 2013.