The State of the Media Nation…

Just when agency buyers and clients were starting to enjoy the spoils of a struggling media market, along comes Christmas to mess it all up!

There is no doubt it has been a buyer’s market out there for most of the year with some substantial discounting and added value being negotiated across all media, but with Christmas looming and a sense that business as a whole is slowly ‘coming right’, are we about to see a swing of the media pendulum back towards the media owners?


TVNZ’s General Manager of Sales, Dave Walker says “We are starting to see a modest recovery in this quarter (Oct-Dec) led by advertisers in the retail sector, this has resulted in a return to more normalised trading conditions.  Too early to call next year but we are cautiously optimistic that the market has flattened out and that we will see growth albeit modest”.

While in the Pay TV arena, SKY’s Director of Sales, Rawinia Newton is feeling cautiously optimistic about the near future, “We’ve noticed a significant increase in activity for the pre Christmas period with demand returning to more “normal” levels.  The mood amongst clients is more positive than we’ve seen this year and we’ve enjoyed increased demand across all channels.  The signs are positive, we are seeing high interest in key Q1 properties such as cricket, Super 14 and the Winter Olympics”.

In the world of online, the growth just keeps coming.  In 2008, spend online accounted for 8.3% of total advertising revenue and 2009 should crack 10%, a 20% year-on-year increase.

MSN’s Liz Fraser says that “MSN growth in terms of both users and revenue keeps rising.  What’s going on? The top-line view includes new category launches; more Hotmail and Messenger users; and video content integration. More people are watching and advertisers and agencies are getting onboard. MSN’s Q4 is shaping up nicely.  What does 2010 hold? Bet on the graph going up. But don’t bet on everyone online. The bar continues to rise, so get alongside those who know how to keep online customers coming back.”  Liz of course means media360!

APN Outdoor GM Phil Clemas is looking beyond the short-term well into 2010.  “Through the front half of 2010, we expect a more gradual climb out of the poor trading conditions experienced in 2009 with stronger growth expected in the build-up to summer 2010/11.

Rugby World Cup 2011 will assist with this improvement later in 2010 as Advertisers will want to plan much further ahead to take advantage of key site selection and the need for many to establish a historical pattern of ‘honest practice’ well before the start of the rugby tournament; possibly as far as 18 months ahead of time”.

We have yet to hear back from the newspaper and radio bosses, which may well say something about the year they are having.  We invite them to make comment directly on the blog.

From media360’s perspective, experience tells us that demand from Labour Weekend to Easter Weekend is consistently high, so a period of relief for media owners.

However, what we do not want to see is a return to the arrogant and inflexible attitudes we have seen from some media owners as a result of a higher demand market conditions.

Play nicely everyone, because we still need to get through Winter 2010, which might well be more challenging than many are expecting.


Story by Dale Spencer, media360 CEO.


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