By David Turner (Head of Investment)
2018 saw the end of three consecutive years of growth in agency demand, with market demand slipping back -4.2%. At the beginning of the year, we forecasted that 2019 would be another challenging one for all media owners and SMI results for Jan and Feb have confirmed this, with the total agency market down -5.2% YOY.
With the Rugby World Cup later this year, we expect to see some budgets deployed in alternative ways. However, it’s taking place off-shore, and the games are predominately going to be streamed online, therefore it’s unlikely to drive significant demand across the media market.
Since the overall market isn’t predicted to grow across the next few quarters, success will come down to two key elements: the first being marketing bodies, who will need to up their game to prove to the market that their channels can deliver results; the second is the individual media owners who are able to stand out above the rest, innovate and look to the future.
Think TV, OMANZ and TRB (only to name a few) will need to maintain a strong voice in the market this year, but not just for the sake of it. They need to truly add value, question and challenge research undertaken in other markets and by competing media, and prove the worth of the channels they represent.
From our perspective, one of the most important developments that needs to occur via OMANZ is bringing the outdoor market together and making a decision on one common research methodology allowing for true comparison of outdoor audiences across all main suppliers. At present, DTVs (Daily Traffic Visuals) is the only common metric available to allow true comparison across different media owners’ inventory. However, this metric is extremely out-dated, and very one-dimensional. There has been talk in the market for some time about this happening, however up to now it seems there has been minimal action—and unfortunately it’s looking unlikely to happen this year.
With Q1 flashing past, what lies ahead is a year that will see mixed results—both online and offline.
Those who put in the time and effort to evolve their offering, but also develop their sales force will stand out above the rest. Some will fail to grasp this and unfortunately slip further into decline as demand continues to stagnate in 2019.