UK TV inflation rebounds as advertisers show confidence

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TV spend is set to recover in the UK market this year as the medium rebounds significantly from a depressed year in 2023, according to the 2024 Media Inflation Report, released today by ECI Media Management.

TV inflation in the UK is predicted to reach 3.0% in 2024 compared to -7.1% in 2023. This is a huge rebound for TV pricing, which was well into deflationary territory in 2023.

ECI Media Management says that multiple factors played a part in TV suffering in 2023, most pertinently that companies behaved cautiously with marketing spend in response to a challenged economy and the cost-of-living crisis.

TV inflation

TV inflation was high in 2021 and 2022, recovering from a sharp pandemic-related dip in 2020. It plunged into deflation in 2023, which the media auditing company expects will be corrected in 2024.

Global CEO Fredrik Kinge explained that “many advertisers sat tight last year and postponed campaigns and investments until 2024” and that because the UK TV market is “so reactive”, we are now witnessing a significant rebound in TV advertising spend, driving up prices.

Alongside this increasing confidence is the fact that 2024 is a big year in terms of sporting events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris, and the UEFA Euros in Germany, both of which hold a huge appeal for advertisers.

In the UK market, media inflation overall is predicted to reach 2.2% in 2024, up from 0.9% in 2023, according to the media performance consultancy.

 Online Video inflation is predicted to reach 2.8%; Online Display 1.4%, Out of Home 4.0% and Radio 2.2%, while Newspapers will deflate to -1.8%; and Magazines -1.7%.

UK media inflation

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All media types are forecast to see some level of inflation at a global level. The region with the highest overall inflation will be Latin America (11.4%), EMEA will see the next highest level of inflation (3.8%), followed by APAC (3.6%) and North America at 1.4%.

In terms of media channels, OOH and Online Video will see the highest inflation at a global level. They have overtaken TV which had the highest inflation forecast in 2023, but which was downgraded over the course of last year in the wake of the Hollywood strikes.

ECI Media Management forecasts that TV inflation will sit at 2.6% globally in 2024. It is forecast to be inflationary in all regions except North America, where it remains deflationary.

At a global level, Online Video is forecast to continue to experience higher inflation (at 4.2%) than Online Display (2.6%) thanks mainly to the rising popularity of streaming services.

Print is showing some signs of recovery after a difficult 2023, although this recovery is by no means rapid, with Newspapers estimated to have an inflation of 0.7% globally and Magazines 0.1%.

Meanwhile, OOH is forecast to see 4.2% inflation globally, while Radio is expected to see 2.4% inflation.

Global media inflation

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Fredrik Kinge, Global CEO of ECI Media Management, said: “2024 is set to be a mixed picture in terms of media inflation, with inflationary factors such as national elections and global sporting events offset by circumstances that compel caution, including the ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

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“The overarching theme for ECI Media Management’s media inflation forecast for 2024 is relatively steady inflation at a global level, but with significant exceptions including continued deflation for TV in the US.

“2023 was a difficult year for TV in the US, where it was profoundly affected by the now-resolved Hollywood strikes and the lack of major political and sporting events, which typically drive investment into the TV networks.

“There was optimism among the networks that 2024 – with its raft of political elections and the Paris Olympics and Paralympics – would release investment into TV, but this impetus seems to have been offset by the challenging economic context, and the continued drift of eyeballs into CTV.

“In the UK, TV pricing has recovered after spending 2023 in deflationary territory. It joins the cluster of other media types seeing single-digit inflation, with the exception of Print, which is deflationary, contributing to an overall impression of pricing stability in the UK.

“With such uncertainty in countries across the world at the moment, both politically and because of all the changes we are seeing in the media industry, it’s critical that media investments are focused, precise and transparent, so that brands can be sure that every ad dollar drives higher media value.”

ECI Media Management’s annual Media Inflation Report forecasts media inflation for seven key media channels in Q1 each year; TV, Online Display, Online Video, Newspapers, Magazines, OOH and Radio, at a global and regional level, and across 48 countries.

The company’s experts have been tracking media inflation since 2012, providing unrivalled understanding of trends over time.

Their information is derived from a number of sources, including their global network of experts, real client data and media agencies.

It is cross-referenced with industry bodies and publications, as well as with agency traders and media vendors, so it reflects the expertise of those with an impact on trading variables.