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Largest increase in net media spending in five years in 2018: +3.2%

4 minute read | July 2019

Diemen – 9 July 2019 – Net media spending in the Netherlands increased by 3.2% in 2018 to € 4.53 billion. It was the largest increase in the last five years. As in other years, online advertising was responsible for the bulk of the growth, the other medium types followed at a distance. This is apparent from the 2018 Annual Net Media Spending Report that Nielsen will be publishing shortly.

The spending developments in the media take place in a flourishing economy that also showed positive figures in 2018. This economic growth was slightly less exuberant than in 2017, but the 2.6% is still well above the EU average of 1.9%. The growth in net media spending of 3.2% is real growth, not including inflation (1.6% in 2018). After the inflation adjustment, there is still nominal growth, but it is significantly lower at 0.5%.

Out of home biggest grower after the internet

In 2018, it was not just the internet that wrote black numbers. At some distance, television, radio, out-of-home and sponsorship also saw advertising revenues increase. Spending on television increased by € 24 million (3%), but this meant that the second largest medium type lagged slightly behind the market average. Radio and sponsoring also achieved positive results. Radio increased slightly by almost 1% and after years of decline, more was spent on sponsoring for the first time (+2.7%). Both, like television, lagged behind market growth. That did not apply to out of home. The share of outdoor advertising in the total net media spend may be modest, at 6.4% the growth was by far the largest after online.

As in previous years, only print lost advertising revenue. Collectively, the decline in all print media was 7.5%. Daily newspapers and free local papers remained slightly below the print average at -6.5% and -6.8% respectively. Public magazines, on the other hand, again saw almost 10% less advertising revenue, while trade magazines recorded a decrease of 8.5%.

Developments in 2018 led to an increase in the share of online in total net media spending to 42.5% (2017: 40.6%). The share of television remained stable at 18%, as did sponsorship, which is the third medium type with 14.5%. Print media saw their share drop from over 14% in 2017 to just under 13% in 2018.

Share of ‘reading’ in net media spending by far largest

In addition to the classification of net media expenditure on the basis of traditional medium types, media expenditure can also be viewed from the perspective of the way in which content is consumed: watching, listening and reading. It turns out that net media spending on reading is by far the largest at € 2.5 billion (55%). In addition to print media, reading also includes folders, online display advertising and search.

Advertisers spent more than €1 billion on ‘watching’ (television, online video, cinema) for the first time, but at 22.5% the share is significantly smaller than that of reading. For the time being, listening is only radio with a limited share of the total net media expenditure. Out of home and sponsorship are not specifically tied to any of the three modes of content consumption and therefore fall into the other category, which accounts for 18% of total net media spend.

Net media spending increases by €232 million in five years

Net media spending has increased by almost 5.4% (€232 million) in five years. This growth is almost entirely attributable to online advertising, mainly due to the size of the medium type. Since 2014, online has grown by €530 million (38%). Cinema grew exactly as fast as the internet in the same period, but the share of cinemas is very modest at 0.2%. The increase at out of home was slightly smaller, but the increase of almost 21% (€ 28 million) in five years is enviable for many other mediums.

The three risers saw the combined income from the sale of advertising space increase by €560 million in five years. Online advertising accounted for 95% of that increase. The other media types wrote off €327 million in advertising revenue in the same period. Print media alone is responsible for 75% of that decline.

About the research into net media spending

To calculate net media expenditure, Nielsen conducts research among publishers and media operators in the Netherlands. It asks for a statement of the net advertising income for the year in question after discounts and after agency commission. Nielsen aggregates these statements to a total figure per medium type. Where necessary, figures are weighted and extrapolated to provide as complete a picture as possible of the actual size of net media expenditure per medium type and of the market. The net media expenditure in 2018 and the comparison of this expenditure with that of previous years is based on the following medium types: television, radio, cinema, internet, daily newspapers, h-a-h magazines, public magazines, trade magazines, out of home, sponsorship and folders.

About Nielsen

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Berry Punt